One of the first law firms in the U.S. to launch a drone law practice group, Chicago firm Antonelli Law says it recently secured legal clearance for two U.S. companies to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for commercial purposes.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Section 333 exemptions to Nixon Engineering Solutions LLC of Shreveport, La., and Hawaii-based Owlcam LLC to conduct commercial UAV operations for aerial photography in the oil gas field and the real estate industry, respectively.
Helicopter pilot and drone hobbyist Chris Currier of Owlcam will now be able to use drones to capture aerial videos of homes and hotels for the tourism and real estate industries.
In the case of Nixon Engineering, the FAA ruling will allow the company to operate UAVs to shoot aerial photos of active mining sites and oil rigs in Louisiana and Texas.
Firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli, a hobbyist drone pilot, decided to expand his passion to his law practice by launching a Drone Law Practice Group last year. The group provides legal counsel to help businesses obtain commercial licenses to operate small drones and keeps clients abreast of the changing laws regulating privacy and safe operations.
Antonelli’s Drone Law Practice Group is leveraged by the legal and aviation expertise of attorney Kate Fletcher, an experienced commercial pilot with one of the world's largest airlines, and Mark Del Bianco, a Washington, D.C., attorney with substantial experience in federal administrative agency rulemakings, enforcement proceedings and appeals.