Boston video production company, McElroy Films, LLC (McElroy Films), recently secured its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Section 33 exemption, adding its name (and services) to the list of 22 other commercial drone operators in the state of Massachusetts. Owner of McElroy Films, Ben McElroy, said, “We have been able to capture incredible footage through drone based cinematography–visually arresting aerials that were previously unachievable without helicopters, flight plans, permits…a lot of red tape, and all coming at a much greater expense to the client. Not only is drone videography much safer and cost effective for our clients, but honestly, it’s a great deal of fun and clients are always extremely impressed with the results.”
As of March 16, 2016, the FAA has issued over 4,000 Section 333 exemptions for commercial drone operations. Of course, McElroy Films will need to follow specific guidelines for flying its drones to capture video and image including the use of only specific drones (e.g. the DJI Phantom 2), only use the drones for aerial videography and photography for corporate, education, nonprofit, surveying and real estate, be operated by an individual with a sport or recreational pilot’s license (as well as a FAA airman medical certificate or U.S. driver’s license) and an observer must be in constant communication and sight of the drone to ensure safe operation. While this was a two year task for McElroy Films to secure its Section 333 exemption, many other companies are currently applying for this exemption as well and more are sure to join the trend.