ALBANY — Military drones get a lot of attention, but as local businesses are finding out, even smaller-scale drones can attract the eyes of the FAA.
A New York Congressman’s wedding video in Cold Spring caught the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration last week. Oddly enough, Congressman Sean Maloney, a Democrat, sits on a subcommittee tasked with oversight of the FAA.
The government tried to fine the videographer responsible, telling him it’s illegal to use drones for commercial use. A similar warning went out to a videographer in the Capital Region.
At ‘Summer Night’ this month in downtown Schenectady, a drone run by Open Stage Media, Proctor’s Theatre’s TV production company, flew overhead.
The FAA is looking into what happened.
“The way we read [the rules] was it was not commercial. It’s a not for profit public access television station. The way we read it, it was not applicable,” explained Philip Morris, CEO of Proctor’s Theatre. This technology is so new, the FAA is even having a hard time getting a set of rules off the ground.
It could be well more than a year before the agency integrates drones into our airspace.
Videographers–and consumers, for that matter–are treading carefully. “We grounded the aircraft. Certainly, we’re not looking to do anything wrong,” Morris said.
“It sounds like it’s a bit of a grey area,” explained Don Ferlazzo, a local videographer
“It would be frustrating to realize there’s something out there you could try that would bring value to your company and clients and be told, you’re not exactly allowed to use that.”
Congress has asked the FAA to have their rules carved out by September of 2015.