Over the past few years, many REALTORS have been promoting the use of drones/UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) as a tool for promoting listed properties. Such usage of a drone is deemed to be in furtherance of a commercial purpose (the marketing of real estate whether it be residential or commercial). The use of drones/UAV’s for commercial purposes falls under the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Pursuant to FAA rules and regulations, the use of drones for commercial purposes is prohibited unless an exemption is granted to an individual or entity to use drones/UAV’s commercially. So far this year, the FAA has issued hundreds of exemptions to individuals/entities to use drones for commercial purposes. REALTORS wishing to use drone/UAV footage of a property should only use an individual or entity that has received an exemption from the FAA. Failure to do so may subject the licensee and their broker to liability and/or disciplinary action by federal and state agencies.
Bard College sponsors the “Center for the Study of the Drone” and provides a wealth of information of the matter. The website also provides a list of those individuals or entities that were granted an exemption by the FAA for the commercial use of drones, some of which are in New York and provide services to real estate professionals. The link to the “Center for the Study of the Drone” can be found here
. The list of those individuals and entities that were granted exemptions can be found here
NYSAR anticipates the release of new drone/UAV rules and regulations sometime in the near future. NYSAR will continue to provide legal updates on this subject as new information becomes available.