Tucson Realtor First to Legally Conduct Aerial Real Estate Photography

On January 6, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a permit to Douglas Trudeau in Tucson for operating a drone in order to shoot real estate listing photos and videos. The Tierra Antigua Realty agent is the first realtor in the United States approved by the FAA to fly an unmanned aircraft system.

On Jan. 6, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a permit to Douglas Trudeau in Tucson for operating a drone in order to shoot real estate listing photos and videos. The Tierra Antigua Realty agent is the first realtor in the U.S. approved by the FAA to fly an unmanned aircraft system.

The license is a regulatory exemption to a current ban on commercial drone flights, and it authorizes Trudeau to work with a Phantom 2 Vision + quadcopter – a remotely controlled multi-functional aircraft, factory equipped with a 14 megapixel camera that is separately controlled via a smartphone. However, before being able to legally fly the drone, he must obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization. The COA ensures the airspace for the proposed operations is safe, and that the pilot has taken proper steps to see and avoid other aircrafts; it will also mandate flight rules and timely reporting of any accident or incidents. The agency also requires the pilot to hold at least an FAA Private Pilot certificate and a current medical certificate, and demands the presence of an observer so that the aircraft remains within line of sight at all times.

Along with Trudeau, Advanced Aviation Solutions was also granted a similar exemption – also a first in the industry. The Spokane, Washington-based company will make photographic measurements on crop fields for precision agriculture with the aid of a fixed-wing unmanned aircraft. The FAA had previously granted 12 exemptions to 11 companies in a variety of industries. As of today, the aviation authority has received 214 requests for exemptions from commercial entities.

Photo credits: Tierra Antigua via Facebook