A Columbus, Ohio based company, CivitasNow, has just become the second company ever (CNN was the first) to be granted a Part 107 waiver to fly drones over people by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA gave the company approval to allow its Aerotain Skye drone to operate over unsheltered people on the ground. The Aerotain Skye is a helium filled tethered drone, which, according to the agency, “resembles a tethered, floating beach ball,” and “carries a camera and small motors for propulsion.” Aerotain calls it the safest drone for live entertainment, with a weight of 14 lbs. and a diameter of about 7.5 feet. It looks like a very small blimp.
The FAA noted that there is no location limitation in the waiver, which means CivitasNow can operate the drone anywhere, as long as it is in uncontrolled airspace. According to its Twitter bio, CivitasNow calls itself an advertising agency which “creates unique campaigns and media installations to reach [its] customers in an engaging way.”
According to the FAA, these approvals of Part 107 waivers are part of the FAA’s “continuing effort to expand drone operations in the nation’s airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security.”