New documents reveal that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is pressing the federal government to legalize Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) use in the film industry. In a lobbying disclosure report filed this week, the MPAA disclosed a lobbying campaign aimed at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to approve unarmed drone use in domestic airspace. The MPAA’s lobbying efforts are aimed at reducing legal confusion about filmmakers using UAVs for aerial shots.
The Hill‘s Brendan Sasso reports that the MPAA wants UAVs in filmmakers’ hands; according to an organization spokesperson, UAVs are cheaper, safer, and easier to use for aerial shots than cranes or helicopters. Drones are currently being quietly used for aerial shoots in Hollywood, causing fears that crane operators could lose lucrative filming gigs. Florida, meanwhile, is debating legislation that would ban UAV filmmaking. The use of drones in American airspace for filmmaking and surveillance is currently a legal gray area; the FAA plans to formally offer private drone licenses by 2015.