Yet again, FAA is showing an ugly overreach of authority on the use of drones. This time, FAA issued an email chastising low altitude use of drones in Brevard County, Florida. Well, it was more than just chastising: it was a threat of fines (at least implied), another showing by FAA that it is the warden in charge here … even for safe, low-altitude use of drones.
The same petty and oppressive abuse of authority, classicly presented by Florida prison warden Strother Martin in the movie Cool Hand Luke, is being re-enacted today by FAA. For our own good, FAA is chaining down the use of drones for things like tourism videos, making sure they never, NEVER defy authority. We need to learn to appreciate FAA’s clinking sounds. Yeah, right.
A side-by-side comparison: two tourism videos
The aerial footage was taken over the Cocoa Beach Pier, The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, and Port Canaveral. The end-product: an attractive tourism video, inviting people to visit the area this summer. Here is the video:
And, here is a copy of an older tourism video. It is much longer at seven minutes, and thus gives a little more information, but it is much less effective at presenting the attractions for potential visitors.
Clearly, the use of drones produced high quality aerial imagery that substantially improved the new video. Also, take a close look at the new video and notice: if any of these high quality aerial images had been attempted with a helicopter or fixed wing manned aircraft, the pilots would have been in gross violation of FAA safety rules. Not to say FAA would have taken any action, but the safety and environmental impacts by manned aircraft would have been huge.
Anyway, the comparison of these two videos shows convincingly that drones are effective, efficient, and a far superior way to collect quality aerial imagery for things such as tourism videos. The use of manned aircraft is completely avoided, and, contrary to FAA’s absurd assertions (see the FAA reply email excerpts in the article, copied on page two of this Post), there is absolutely no safety impact on the National Airspace System. Nada.