Today, Hogan Lovells’ Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Chair Lisa Ellman testified to the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations ...27 September 2016
Cleared for Takeoff: FAA Authorizes NFL Affiliate to Fly UAS
The NFL affiliate filed for a Section 333 Petition for Exemption requesting permission to fly UAS on May 20, 2015, and the FAA granted the petition on September 17.
Under the exemption, the NFL affiliate will be able to film in and around stadiums, practice facilities, and other closed-set locations that are not open to the public. The NFL affiliate will only be allowed to fly the DJI Phantom 1, DJI Phantom 2 and DJI Inspire 1. In January of this year, the DJI Phantom 2 made headlines when it crash landed on the White House lawn.
Additional operating requirements that will need to be adhered to during flights include:
- The UAS must weigh less than 55 pounds, including the camera, gimbal and other accessories
- Not flying faster than 100 mph
- Staying below an altitude of 400 feet
- The operator must have a current FAA issued pilot certificate
- Must be flown within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and a visual observer
- Must stay at least 5 nm away from airports (without separate FAA approval)
- Daytime flights only
Earlier this year, the FAA investigated several NFL teams for potentially illegal UAS operations to film practices, which is prohibited commercial activity without FAA authorization.