Florida leads in FAA approvals for real estate drones

Drones can legally fly up to 400 feet.
Drones can legally fly up to 400 feet.

Florida is the leading state for federal approvals to use drones in real estate photography.

The Federal Aviation Administraion (FAA) has granted 45 exemptions to drone pilots for real estate applications in Florida, more than in any other state, according to a report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

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For example, Carlos Pando, a manager of Orlando Aerial Videos in Central Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel that his company got an FAA exemption about four months ago and uses it mainly to operate a camera-equipped drone over construction sites

The FAA has granted a total of 97 exemptions to Florida drone pilots, second only the number granted to applicants in California. The federal agency began granting such drone exemptions a year ago. Qualified uses include photography of events and skylines, surveys of farmland and crop conditions, and searches and inspections by law enforcement authorities.

To obtain and retain an exemption from the FAA, applicants must have a drone pilot’s certificate, and they must operate drones in daylight only and in their line of sight. Their drones can weigh up to 55 pounds and fly to an altitude of up to 400 feet. [Orlando Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth