FAA Allows Drone Usage for Film Production

December 13, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. exempt /iɡˈzem(p)t/ (adj.) – to free from rule or restriction
Example: The previous companies are exempt from the agency’s additional requirements.

2. cinematography /ˌsɪn ə məˈtɒg rə fi/ (n.) – refers to the art of making a movie using camera shots
Example: The beauty of a movie’s cinematography depends on the director’s vision.

3. deliberation /dəˌlibəˈrāSH(ə)n/ (n.) – careful thinking and consideration done before making a decision
Example: The writers finalized the story after much deliberation.

4. on behalf of /ɒn bɪˈhæf ʌv/ (idiom) – as a representative of a person or a group
Example: The director thanked the fans on behalf of the actors who failed to arrive.

5. elated /ɪˈleɪ tɪd/ (adj.) – being excited and very happy
Example: The actor was elated when he received the award.


Read the text below.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allowed six aerial [AIR-ee-uh l, ey-EER-ee-uh l] cinematography companies to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones when filming in the United States.

Production companies have applied for the waiver to exempt them from FAA’s ban on drone usage. Before, the FAA has regulated drone usage in the United States to protect national security. But upon deliberation, the FAA concluded that using drones at filming locations is safe.

However, the exemption still includes a few restrictions. Though drones may now be used, productions still need to notify the FAA on the details of the shoot so air traffic around the area will be informed. Also, only licensed pilots can control the drones and it can only fly up to 400 feet within the closed set of the filming location.

The six aerial cinematography companies include Aerial Mob, Astraeus [uhs-TREE-uhs] Aerial Cinema Systems, Heli Video Productions, PictorVision, Snaproll Media, and Vortex Aerial. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) helped facilitate the exemption requests on behalf of the companies.

Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, described FAA’s announcement as a great victory for the film industry. He believes that the exemption will let filmmakers have more creative scenes and improve the audience’s viewing experience. Tony Carmean [kar-mee-uhn], Aerial MOB founder, was elated over the news and said that the viewers will benefit the most from the better cinematic quality to come.

American movies like Harry Potter and Skyfall had used drones for aerial shots but the shooting was done outside the United States.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think aerial shots are needed in a movie?
·         Why is it important for FAA to regulate drone usage?

Discussion B

·         What can be gained from viewing films and television shows? Kindly discuss.
·         What are the qualities of a good film?

December 13, 2014