Industries in Florida received 40 exemptions from the Federal Aviation Administration to commercially operate unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, in the airspace, according to a new report released Thursday by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Real estate companies received the most exemptions followed by the agriculture and construction sectors.
“Florida businesses across every industry sector have been waiting to use UAS for years and are excited to finally get this technology off the ground,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “From inspecting pipelines and surveying bridges to filming movies and providing farmers with aerial views of their crops, the applications of UAS are virtually limitless and offer businesses a superior way to see what needs to be seen, in less time and at less expense.”
In May 2014, the FAA announced it would consider granting exemptions for certain low-risk commercial UAS applications under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Since then, the agency has approved more than 800 petitions out of more than 2,200 requests, so far.
AUVSI analyzed the first 500 exemptions approved by the FAA, and found that operators in Florida accounted for 40 of thos, including 20 from real estate companies, nine from agriculture and eight from construction. Only California and Texas garnered more exemptions, with 70 and 46 respectively. The study is available at http://auvsilink.org/advocacy/Section333.html.