With just barely a decade finished in the 21st century, we’ve already seen a number of mind-blowing developments unravel where technology is involved. Of them, the development of private drones may be one of the most impressive. We now have the technology to allow average citizens to fly an aircraft via remote control high up into the sky and have it immediately relay video to a live feed. While it may have a lot of us excited, though, the FAA has stepped up to quell the anticipation of many.
San Diego REALTOR® Drones
No, we’re not talking about androids capable of staging and selling Carlsbad real estate. Instead, many San Diego REALTORS® were using drones to take affordable, yet detailed, pictures of the Carlsbad properties they were trying to sell.
While this may seem like a perfectly logical use for drones—perhaps one of the only ones—the FAA begs to differ. They recently clarified that these drones can only be used for hobby or recreation purposes. Using these drones for commercial activities or to support activities that would lead to profit is strictly verboten according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Although the recent announcement by the FAA specifically mentions REALTORS®, it’s important to understand that this was a unique release. However, the rules cover all commercial purposes. If you’ve been using a drone for marketing purposes of any sort or any other reason with financial help as a result, the FAA may come after you.
This wasn’t an idle threat either. The FAA has already issued a number of subpoenas to REALTORS® who had been using drones for these purposes. For the most part, it seemed to be REALTORS® in New York who were using aerial shots to better capture the beauty of living in the Hamptons.
To be clear, these subpoenas don’t carry charges. But they do ask that the REALTORS® explain themselves to the authorities and clarify what purpose they have been using drones for. If it was for financial gain, then they will more than likely face a fine. At the very least, it will be made perfectly clear they cannot take part in this practice again.
It far from ends there, though. In their release the FAA also pointed out that anyone using drones are subject to current FAA regulations. This would encompass other activities like no fly zones and proper operation.
However, they were also quick to point out that those who use drones are also subject to any future laws that might be passed as well.
Those who wish to continue with this risky practice would do well to have their drone covered by liability insurance, just in case the policy is necessary because of a mishap while flying. On top of that, though, you’ll also want the contact number for a good attorney as the FAA is not known to take matters like these lightly.
Should San Diego REALTOR® drones be subject to such laws? That will no doubt be part of the ongoing discussion as the 21st century continues its digital progress.
~ Cherie Young ~