Two of the potentially waiverable Part 107 items for a licensed drone vendor are the prohibition of night operation and prohibition of operation over people. Some drone vendors have obtained the night operation waiver, however, very few have obtained the waiver that allows for drone operation over people.
The Section 333 exemptions for the “Original 7” drone vendors, allow for drone operation over authorized and consenting production personnel. These seven exemption holders are authorized to operate drones on closed-set motion picture and television sets under very specific parameters including the following:
- Drone use is permitted on closed-set locations only.
- The RPIC should ensure that the drone is not operated within 500 feet of non-participating individuals.
- Cast and Crew Awareness - The FAA requires that drone operators notify those individuals who will be participants in the closed-set film shoot. The production company should notify all cast and crew members using the following notification on the call sheet:
"An unmanned aircraft is being used and will be flown in close proximity to crew and equipment. Anyone objecting will notify the Production Manager or First Assistant Director prior to any filming."
- Participants are considered cast and crew who are essential to the closed-set film operations. Individuals in this category should be provided the aforementioned notification and they should provide their consent to be present.
- Drones should not be operated directly over any person, except authorized and consenting production personnel.
Non “Original 7” Section 333 exemption holders do not have FAA authorization to operate drones over people.