Professional Photographers of America (PPA) recently visited Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to advocate for photographers' rights, including the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
PPA says CEO David Trust and its copyright and government affairs department met with a series of committees and subcommittees on the Hill in order to help determine future political strategy. Some of the topics centered on advancing the commercial use of drones: PPA argued for exemptions to be made for its photographers in regard to the use of UAS.
According to PPA, the Nov. 4 midterm elections are worth noting because they will create a lame duck session, where Congress will meet with elected successors post-midterm elections but before the successor’s term begins. The sessions will continue for an undetermined time, and because it is unknown who will be elected, no one can forecast exactly what will happen in the lame duck session.
However, Tom Chapman – counsel to the subcommittee on aviation, safety and security – said it was likely that significant change in UAS policy could occur as early as the lame duck session. Specifically, things could change in response to the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012, PPA explains.
“Drones can be a valuable tool for professional photographers,” says Trust. “We think exemptions should be made for PPA photographers to allow for the use of drones during certain assignments. Obviously, plenty still needs to be ironed out, but the discussions were encouraging.”
PPA says it is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers for professional photographers and assists more than 27,000 members.