Chicago-based Antonelli Law has launched ‘Drone Democracy‘ – what the law firm says is a lower-fee Section 333 service to help potential operators of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) obtain legal clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Created as a division of Antonelli Law's drone/UAS practice group, Drone Democracy exclusively serves commercial UAS users seeking FAA approval to operate drones for small-scale uses, such as residential real estate and nature photography.
For a flat fee of $2,500, clients can expect to receive a response to their petition within as few as 90 days of hiring Antonelli Law, the firm says.
This expedited process is made possible under the FAA’s new summary grant process, which allows the agency to issue faster approvals to certain, low-risk, commercial drone operators whose categories of drone use have previously been issued approvals through the agency. Section 333 petitions submitted through the summary grant process typically see a faster approval process compared to complex commercial drone use petitions, which still require an in-depth analysis, explains Antonelli Law.
“It was unfortunate that the former petition process took a substantial amount of time to complete from start to finish – a lot of people would have to wait several months to be able to fly their drones,” says owner Jeffrey Antonelli. “We also found that there were too many people out there who couldn’t afford to file a petition, so we decided that no one should be shut out of being granted permission to fly a drone.
“We’ve been working hard to streamline the petition-filing process to make it easier and faster for our clients to start flying drones,” he says. “We can now get the petitions approved quickly, especially if it’s a simple drone being operated for a common use like residential real estate photography, for example.
“There are thousands of people out there trying to fly drones. That’s what ‘Drone Democracy’ is all about – helping more people gain legal clearance to be able to operate drones.”