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NFL Drones Are Cleared For Take Off By FAA

Discussion in 'News' started by snerd, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. snerd

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    The Federal Aviation Administration has granted permission to the NFL to film using drones, in a letter dated September 17. Fans shouldn’t get too excited though, as the filming must be limited to empty stadiums and therefore cannot yet be used to film live game footage.

    The conversation began in June when the NFL began investigating the Cowboys, Giants, and Patriots for their use of drones during live practice without the proper FAA permission. FAA regulations state that any organization must have prior permission to fly drones for commercial purposes. The drones were largely used as a player development tool in these instances, but nonetheless still lacked the necessary permissions.

    The FAA’s new exemption makes the NFL the first professional sports league to be granted a drone exemption. This doesn’t give the NFL free reign over their use of drones, however. Many restrictions are still in place, including limits on size and speed. The drones can’t weigh over 55 pounds or travel over 100mph and operators must submit written plans prior to their use. Due to the live game footage restriction, this will be used largely by NFL Films in gathering footage for commercial and television segments, adding to their already beautiful library of footage.

    This will likely lead to much broader application down the line as drone technology is made both safer and more affordable. In terms of capturing live game footage, drones are able to travel with much more freedom and accuracy than the traditional wired SkyCams fans have traditionally seen. Not only could this additional perspective be used to expand broadcast television opportunities, but it could have serious application inside the stadium as teams make a push to connect their fans to instant replays available on their smartphones. Further, coaching staffs across the league could use the added perspective in their breakdown of film, getting them closer to the action and allowing for expanded player development opportunities.

    One can imagine a day where drones fly over a crowded NFL stadium, gathering detailed shots of gameplay for both fan and front office use, while others whizz over the fans, delivering hot dogs and beer. The latter might take some time to come to life, but the former? The former might not be so far away.

    Via Sporttechie.com