The News Minute | September 28, 2014 | 02.15 pm IST
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted approval to six photo and video production companies to use drones for shooting.
"The FAA has granted regulatory exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies, the first step to allowing the film and television industry the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System," US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx was quoted as saying in media reports.
The UASs to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA issued certificate of airworthiness based on a finding that they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security, Foxx added.
"Today's announcement is a significant milestone in broadening commercial UAS use while ensuring we maintain our world-class safety record in all forms of flight," Foxx emphasised.
The firms asked the agency to grant exemptions from regulations that address general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates.
To receive the exemptions, the firms had to show their UAS operations would not adversely affect safety, or would provide at least an equal level of safety to the rules from which they seek the exemptions.
The companies that were successful in applying for the exemptions had to agree to obtain pilot certificates for drone operators.
Companies such as Amazon and Google have had their drone projects - aimed at making drone delivery services available to online shoppers - put on hold while they wait for official FAA regulations, Live Science reported.