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FAA releases regulations for business drone use

Photo source: MGN

Companies looking to fly a drone now have rules to follow from the Federal Aviation Administration. The regulations were handed down Tuesday, and require companies to have a 'remote pilot certificate.'

Companies, like Pelican Drones, frequently shoot drone video of Pensacola, and the Northern Panhandle. They do it for commercials and other projects, where traditional photography may not work.

"So we're providing them with something that is basically visually attractive. And the way to do it, we're finding, is with a drone," said Alan Gray, Director of Sales for Pelican Drones.

The new regulations from the FAA outline what companies are allowed to do with their drones. Something, Chris Tonn, owner of Pelican Drones, said he has been waiting on.

"You know this is a big step forward, for everybody that has an interest in getting into the commercial world of drone operations," Tonn said.

Tonn has a license from the FAA, allowing them to fly for business, but he knows, not everyone has one.

"Sure it's been a little bit like the 'Wild, Wild West' out here. We have some operators that are licensed with 333 licenses from the FAA, such as pelican drones. But at the same time, you have guys that are just like, "You know what, I just want to go out and make a little money on the side, and use my drone to do so,"" Tonn said.

Gray added the duo turned down jobs, because the rules weren't clear on what they could and couldn't do. One of the biggest areas of confusion, especially in Pensacola, was flying near airports.

"One of the biggest limiting factors with the regulations, we've been limping along with for the last year and a half, have been the restriction approximate to airports. Five nautical miles from an airport, center, pretty much knock out any flyability where there is the most interesting things," Gray said.

Tonn and Gray are happy knowing they will soon be able to get some of those desired shots, with permission.

The new FAA standards take effect in August.

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