FAA Grants Alaska Company Permission to Use Drones for Business
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration issued its first approval to an Alaska company for the commercial use of drones.
Alaska Aerial Media has been posting videos shot by drones online for about a year. Snippets of aerial footage featuring sledding at a local high school, a construction project and an ice skating event offer glimpses of the company’s future endeavors.
Founder Ryan Marlow said his interest in drones — or “systems,” short for unmanned aircraft systems — started as a hobby. His personal fascination quickly turned into a business idea, but current laws limited his use of drones to recreational pursuits.
Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 lifted the prohibition on the use of drones for commercial or business purposes — provided a company hoping to operate drones was granted a license to do so. Now, the aviation authority is handing out exemptions faster than ever. There were 150 approvals nationwide in April, with a total of 246 granted as of Thursday.