Commercial drones cleared for take off


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The FAA’s proposed large-scale legalization of commercial drones means big new business opportunities for New Mexico drone enthusiasts who want to fly-for-hire.

Long-time movie industry set builder William Gilpin has been looking forward to the FAA setting up a system for commercial drone flyers to legally operate in the US.

“I’ve been waiting for it for 3 years and Sunday was great news,” he said.

Gilpin bought and has been training on a large, $15,000 drone designed to carry cinema-quality cameras.

“Every director I’ve talked with is very excited about the new shots they’re going to be able to get for cinematography,” Gilpin said.

Right now, while amateur hobbyists can fly drones most anywhere for fun, only a handful of companies have been authorized to fly for pay. That’s under special waivers from the FAA.

Several California movie companies have gotten those waivers to fly camera drones on movie sets, but Gilpin wants to be the New Mexico movie camera drone guy.

Sunday, the FAA released proposed rules that would allow drones across the country to be flown for hire for many commercial purposes.

Gilpin is working to complete all the required training and documentation the FAA wants for him to get licensed to fly drones for hire.

Along the way, he has already shot a reel of spectacular aerial video from all around the state.

“Everytime I put it on a computer and look at it on a big screen, I just go wow, he said. “And I have millions and millions of shots in my head that I want to shoot.”

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