The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is applauding the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) proposed rules for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which would allow commercial drone use for marketing real estate.
President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark., says this is “good news for property owners and Realtors who desire to embrace cutting-edge technology to enhance the process of buying and selling real estate with images gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles.”
Currently, commercial entities, including real estate companies, can fly UAS commercially by obtaining an FAA Section 333 exemption, which requires the pilot to have at least an FAA Private Pilot certificate and a current medical certificate. Douglas Trudeau of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Ariz., received an exemption in January to operate a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter.
Under the proposed regulations, commercial entities would not need a Section 333 exemption but must operate below 500 feet, within the line of sight of the operator and during the daylight hours (among other requirements).
According to Polychron, NAR is planning to provide input to the FAA during the 60-day public-comment period, as well as collaborate with Realtors “to educate them about the future safe, responsible and legal uses of UAVs.”
“However, until the final rule is published,’ he notes, “NAR discourages Realtors from using UAV photography or video for commercial purposes without an FAA exemption.”
NAR represents 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Last year, the association announced it had joined an FAA working group for UAVs in order to convey to the agency how Realtors are capable of operating the technology in a safe manner.
More on the FAA's proposed regulations can be found here.