For the last 6 years, it has technically been a risky endeavor to use drones to capture photos or video for commercial purposes. If you did so, you risked hefty FAA fines and possible legal trouble as well. But that is no more.
A federal NTSB judge shot down the FAA ban on commercial drones when he dismissed the FAA’s case against Raphael Pirker. Pirker’s was the first case of drone pilot flagged by the FAA for violating the ban on commercial drone use. Back in 2011, he was hit with a $10,000 fine by the FAA for using a drone while filming an ad for the University of Virginia’s Medial School.
The judge’s decision, for the time being, opens the doors for commercial use of drones in the US with no FAA approval needed. The loophole occurred because the FAA never went through the proper steps to actually make the ban legitimate. Things like public notices and other processes are required and the FAA did not go through these processes when banning the commercial use of drones.
[REWIND: Big Savings On Drones Through B&H]
That, of course, doesn’t mean the FAA can’t make a ban official by doing these things now. But until the FAA responds to this court ruling, by giving up and allowing use of drones or by going through the correct processes to ban commercial use, commercial use of drones in the US is now open.
Expect the cost of drones in the US to go up, since now business can purchase drones for commercial use, retailers will use the opportunity to squeeze more money out of us. But overall, I feel like this is a huge win for wedding videographers and photographers – many of whom used drones during the ban anyways.
What are your thoughts on this news? Are you going to run out and get a drone, or do you feel like this does not affect you much? Share your thoughts in a comment below to join the discussion.