Just last year I was getting many phone calls requesting aerial images for properties being listed for sale in Dallas but unfortunately we had to turn some of those jobs down. The problem was that many of those properties were under restricted airspace and required authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to flying. That authorization used to take anywhere from 30 to 90 days, and sometimes we didn’t get a response at all from the FAA.
That changed drastically over the summer this year. The FAA expanded the Drone Airspace Authorization Program providing near real-time processing of airspace authorization request for drone operators nationwide. What used to take nearly three months is now instant. What does this mean for you? In the real estate industry timing is of the essence and this means you can book your aerial photography session from one day to another. We recently booked an aerial shoot on the same day!
This doesn’t mean that the FAA has laxed its regulations; commercial drone operators are still required to be licensed and must follow strict guidelines. If your property is near Dallas Love Field or Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport you want to make sure the person flying the drone for your aerials is an FAA Part 107 licensed remote pilot. Even if it’s a relative or co-worker, if the purpose of the aerial images is to market a property that is considered commercial use and hence the drone pilot must be licensed. Otherwise, they risk possible hefty fines.
Lastly, while it is not required, I highly recommend all drone aerial operations be insured. At The Property Snappers, we insure every single flight up to $10M through Verifly. This provides a safety net for our staff and our clients should something not go right. I would recommend you inquire about this when looking to book drone aerial photography or video.
Drones have made capturing large estates and properties with amazing views very affordable. We just have to stay on top of ever changing FAA rules and always putting our clients’ safety first.