Motion Picture and Aerospace Industries Urge FAA to Support Increased Usage of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Film Production

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MPAA and AIA seek exemption for Astraeus Aerial to open economic opportunities for the motion picture and aviation industries | Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey and Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd

The Aerospace Industries Association and Motion Picture Association of America are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to support increasing the safe operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in film productions.

In a letter to FAA administrator Michael Huerta, AIA President and Chief Executive Officer Marion C. Blakey and MPAA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Senator Chris Dodd asked the agency to approve an exemption request by Astraeus Aerial to operate sUAS for movie and television productions. The exemption application details how licensed professionals can operate small, camera-equipped unmanned systems safely in U.S. airspace. A favorable approval also would widen opportunities for other, similar operators.

As the letter states, AIA and MPAA represent industries that support more than 2.5 million American jobs and produce more than $125 billion in annual exports. Once these and other exemptions are granted to permit sUAS operations for movie productions, both industries will benefit.

While recognizing the final FAA sUAS rules will not be issued as originally directed by Congress next month, AIA and MPAA urged the agency to remain on track to issue the sUAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in November to allow the period of public review and comment to begin.

“This country is the birthplace of the motion picture, television and aviation industries, and the United States has a significant technological advantage in this new frontier of aviation,” the letter stated. “This advantage, however, may be short-lived. Approving the film and television exemption requests expeditiously will help advance our nation’s global leadership in aviation by supplying the FAA with a case study and data that can expedite the successful integration of UAS into national airspace.”

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Keith Mordoff

Howard Gantman
MPAA Washington, D.C.
(202) 293-1966
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Aerospace Industries Association
since: 09/2009
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