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NAR to FAA: Lift Ban on Drones


The National Association of REALTORS® sent a letter this week to the Federal Aviation Administration asking the agency to consider permitting the use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology, in real estate, arguing that the technology does not pose a threat to public safety.

Tread Carefully With Drones

The FAA currently prohibits the use of drones for any commercial purpose, including capturing video or photographs to sell a home. In June, the agency issued an interpretation of its guidelines, stating that “a REALTOR® using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he or she is trying to sell, and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing, does not constitute hobby or recreational use.”

NAR has urged its members not to use drones for any purpose related to selling property until the FAA issues regulations for their use.

The FAA is to release proposed regulations in November and establish a timeframe for possibly integrating small drones or UAVs into the national airspace.

“REALTORS® are showing tremendous interest and enthusiasm for new drone technologies that could help them market listings in an efficient and environmentally sensible manner,” NAR said in its letter to the FAA. “While safety and privacy concerns presented by UAV technology are NAR’s primary concerns, our members are also concerned about current FAA policy that prohibits any commercial use of this technology and hinders the growth of many industries.”

Recently, the FAA invited NAR to participate in its ongoing work group addressing the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems.

“Use of UAV technology by the real estate industry is simple compared to other applications, such as land surveying or law enforcement. The use of UAV technology would be limited in scope to the property itself,” NAR stated. “Properly written regulations would permit the use of UAV technology within the real estate industry, while maintaining safety in the [national airspace] and privacy of citizens.”

NAR has developed a resource page at REALTOR.org covering the latest on drone usage in real estate.

Source: “NAR Petitions for Drone Use,” HousingWire (Sept. 23, 2014)

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