Production Alert:

California Film Commission Permit Policy on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

After a thorough investigation researching Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policies and advisories regarding the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) the CFC will no longer issue any film or still photography permits that intend to use such UAS as part of the filming equipment. Any  remote controlled airborne devices either carrying photographic equipment of any kind used for commercial purposes or flying to be photographed for still or film commercial purposes is not yet regulated and therefore not authorized by the FAA.

The following link refers to FAA documents addressing the UAS issue:

The Federal Aviation Administration continues to work on a regulatory framework for possibly allowing commercial use of such airborne devices in the future but until the regulatory framework is approved, these remote controlled airborne devices will not be allowed to film or be filmed on California state property.

In the meantime several widely-used camera options involving the use of various cranes, cabled devices, or helicopters flown by pilots with FAA certification have been and continue to be available. Previously, the CFC handled the use of UAS on a case by case basis but that was prior to the most recent March FAA advisory (see link below). The CFC can no longer allow the use of any remote controlled device for commercial purposes on state property.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.