DroneCast, a Philadelphia-based company that uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to display advertisements, has kicked off a tour in Las Vegas – much to the consternation of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Nineteen-year-old Raj Singh, the founder of the start-up, operated on the Las Vegas Strip an 11-pound octocopter with a 3 ft. x 12 ft. “DroneCast” banner dangling from it, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
However, this is clearly a commercial, rather than a recreational or hobby, application. But Singh is not worried: He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he has “been advised by [his] legal counsel that there are no laws restricting this use” and that the FAA merely has “policies” rather than “enforceable law.”
Another possible whammy, according to the report, is that the flight was close to the McCarran International Airport, which Singh says he was five miles away from – just meeting the FAA’s requirement to stay five miles clear of airports, unless other permission has been granted.
Singh, who has been doing the business since late April, charges around $50,000 for an appearance and expects to make $1.5 million in revenue in 2014. The octocopter, which flies around 40 feet in the air and can operate in an automated path, also throws down coupons and an emergency parachute.
The full Las Vegas Review-Journal article can be found here.