Today the FAA granted four more companies exemptions to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) commercially.

In October and November the FAA for the first time approved the commercial use of UAS through petitions for exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (“Special Rules for Certain Unmanned Aircraft Systems”) to seven aerial photo and video production companies: Aerial Mob, Astraeus Aerial Cinema Systems, Flying-Cam Aerial Systems, Heli Video Productions, PictorVision, Snaproll Media and Vortex Aerial. (See Alert, dated 10.13.14: FAA Approves Commercial Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems; Provides Guidance for Accelerated Use)

These additional exemptions, granted to Trimble Navigation Ltd, VDOS Global LLC, Clayco Inc and Woolpert Inc., broaden the uses of commercial UAS to include aerial surveying, construction site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections.

The FAA is still on track to release draft UAS rules by the end of December.