The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed much-anticipated rules governing the commercial use of small drones that would require drone operators to be obtain certification and only pilot aircraft without line of sight during daylight hours.
The proposed rules, which would cover small unmanned aerial systems weighing under 55 pounds and conducting non-recreational operations, could open the door for real estate agents to use drones for marketing purposes without running the risk of drawing the ire of the FAA.
The agency has explicitly said in the past that Realtors who take pictures or videos of listings are not engaged in a “hobby or recreation,” meaning that regulators could attempt to take enforcement actions against them.
The National Association applauded the FAA’s proposed rules.
“Realtors support the proposed federal regulation, which would allow for safe commercial use of UAV technology by the real estate industry for the purposes of marketing real estate,” said NAR President Chris Polychronin a statement.
The public can comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.
Polychronin said it will submit comments to the agent and “continue to work with our members to educate them about the future safe, responsible and legal uses of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles].”
Until the final rule is published, however, NAR discourages members from using drones for commercial purposes to capture photography or video without an FAA exemption, he said.