The Use of Drones

The flying of drones for commercial purposes is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) throughout the United States. Therefore, the flight of drones for commercial purposes without specific FAA approval violates current FAA regulations.

If you intend to use drones, it is up to you to verify that the drone operator you engage is authorized by the FAA and any applicable state law to operate drones. It is also up to you to verify that such authorization is for the purpose for which you engage the drone operator. This is an important detail because while operators may be granted an exemption to operate drones for motion picture, television and new media filming, still photography and ”aerial cinematography,” there are also exemptions for other purposes not related to filming, such as aerial surveillance of pipelines, crops, real estate, etc. You will also need to verify if other permits, exceptions or permissions are needed for your specific use as may be mandated by the FAA or other applicable law.

In Oregon, House Bill 2710 was passed in 2015 which requires Oregon public bodies to register Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA). Contact ODA directly via for more information.

Again, it is up to you to make sure that the drone operator you engage may lawfully provide the service.

As the FAA continues to grant exemptions and certificates at a fast rate, it’s difficult for Oregon Film to keep our updates current. Therefore, if you’re looking for a specific drone operator, you can check their 333 exemption status by visiting the FAA’s website directly. Or, if you have an interest in becoming a pilot, you can also check out the FAA’s rules and process for obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate.