FAA Grants Another Waiver for Over-People Drone Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it has granted a Part 107 waiver to Columbus, Ohio-based CivitasNow for the operation of a helium-filled Aerotain Skye tethered drone over people on the ground.

According to the agency, the Skye aircraft “resembles a tethered, floating beach ball.” With a diameter of roughly 7.5 feet and a weight of 14 lbs., the aircraft “carries a camera and small motors for propulsion,” the FAA explains. On its website, Aerotain calls its creation the “world’s safest drone for live entertainment.”

The FAA notes there is no location limitation under the approval, so the company can fly the drone “anywhere in uncontrolled airspace.” On its Twitter bio, CivitasNow describes itself as an “experiential advertising agency that creates unique campaigns and media installations to reach [its] customers in an engaging way.”

The agency adds that the newly issued waiver is “part of the FAA’s continuing effort to expand drone operations in the nation’s airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security.” Last month, CNN was awarded a Part 107 waiver to operate the Vantage Robotics Snap drone over people in real-world operating conditions. The company also has permission to fly a tethered Fotokite Pro drone over areas with unsheltered people who are not directly participating in the operation.

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