A plugged-in tipster forwards an alert from the California Association of Realtors warning its members not to hire or fly unmanned aircraft to capture aerial photographs for the marketing of high-end properties.
[A] Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) investigation has…revealed that aerial photos where unmanned aircraft were observed have appeared on certain real estate sales websites. According to FilmL.A., the LAPD Air Division has issued [a] warning as it intends to prosecute violators in the near future.
Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s current policy, no one can operate an unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System without specific authority. Operators who wish to fly an unmanned aircraft for civil use must obtain an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate, which will not be issued to an unmanned aircraft used for compensation or hire. Although the FAA allows hobbyists to fly model airplanes for recreational purposes under specific guidelines, that authority does not extend to operators flying unmanned aircraft for business purposes.
In the words of our industry tipster, “I don’t know if any ‘drones’ have buzzed the SF skyline to shoot films yet, but…agents up here have talked about trying it.”