After receiving recent inquiries, we want to make sure all REALTORS are aware of the current status of legal drone photography for listings. As we published in December, NAR issued a detailed update on drones at their annual conference. Here it is in a nutshell: Taking photos with a drone for your real estate listings is considered commercial work, not operating as a hobbyist. Therefore, you may use a drone for property listing photos ONLY if you (or the person you hire) have received a Section 333 waiver from the FAA and follow the guidelines. To apply for the waiver, you can find more specific information about what a petition of exemption must contain and how to file your petition on the FAA’s website at: http://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/section_333/how_to_file_a_pe… (link is external). The process typically takes 120 days after submission.
The FAA is currently moving through a rulemaking process to address the integration of drones into the NAS, which Griffith noted FAA hopes to complete by June 2016.