AP Photo / John Locher
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 | 3:47 p.m.
Most Nevada companies that have received permission from the federal government this year to fly drones will be using their unmanned aircraft to take photos and video.
That’s according to data released last week from the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, which compiled a database of the FAA’s progress in granting waivers to fly small drones in national airspace.
Robison Engineering Company Inc., for instance, received permission to conduct aerial mapping of Nevada and California mines. Another company, ArrowData, LLC., was cleared in April to use drones to gather information about news and weather in the Las Vegas area.
To the frustration of several industries — real estate, television and agriculture, among others — the FAA has restricted the use of drones for commercial use. The FAA allows hobbyists to fly small drones for fun.
Only about a dozen firms had received exemptions at the start of the year. In the last three months, however, the FAA has granted more than 500 authorizations nationwide with an expedited application process.
The exempted drones, for the most part, must remain within the pilot’s line of sight and fly below 200 feet. The FAA is still working on a more complete set of rules for commercial drones.
Nevada is one of six designated drone test sites the FAA is using for research before drones are fully integrated into the airspace.
Below is a list of Nevada companies granted exemptions this year to fly drones and descriptions of their commercial activities, according to the FAA proposals:
• ArrowData LLC: “To conduct electronic news gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
• Ascent Aerial Video Productions: “To conduct aerial photos, videography, and cinematography for academic community awareness, to augment real estate property listing videos, and video production to small businesses.”
• Michael Carey Goudeau: “To conduct aerial videography and cinematography.”
• Real Estate Strategies LLC: “To conduct aerial videography/cinematography to enhance academic community awareness for those individuals/entities and companies unfamiliar with the geographical layout of the greater Las Vegas, NV, metropolitan area and to augment real estate research analysis and for-sale listing photographs and videos.”
• Robison Engineering Co. Inc.: “To conduct aerial mapping.”
• Unmanned Systems Inc.: “To operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) commercially in motion picture and television operations.”