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Laws & Regulations for Drones at Events

Drone Flying Regulations & Rules for Events

mobile led jumbotron outdoor big screen tv rental for events with drone

Drone flying at live outdoor concert

At Fire UP Video, we are at large events all over the Midwest with our outdoor large screen TVs. We see drones on site all the time filming these events. We always wonder about the legality and regulations involved with drones. So we thought we would do a little investigation to see what is real when it comes to being on the right side of the law when operating these unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

After all, we run a video company and have thought it would be pretty cool to put some live images from drones on the Jumbotron. So we will keep it simple and break down into simple facts. Our list may not be complete so check with your local FAA office to be 100% certain. Also, note this writing and research is from November 2015, and laws about drones are changing all the time.

Drones for Commercial Use

At the time of this blog, the use of drones for commercial use is determined on a case-by-case basis by the FAA. If you would like to use a drone for business or commercial purposes, you would need the express permission from the FAA, and you have a couple options of how to go about that. You can apply for an exemption from the FAA, or you can get an airworthiness certificate and operate within the FAA rules. With both options, you would also need to obtain an FAA Certificate of Authorization (COA). If you would like more information on how to obtain these, visit: https://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/ section_333/

Some other facts for commercial drone use:

  • Many drones need to be registered with the FAA
  • Commercial use is only allowed in several industries, including, film and video, real estate photography, agricultural monitoring, aerial surveying, and safety inspections, but more are expected to be exempt as laws loosen
  • If you want to use a drone for business reasons but don’t have FAA permission, you can hire a company that already has a Section 333 exemption
  • New rules and regulations are being decided now, so keep up to date and pay attention to these changes

Drones for Recreational Use

Currently, drones for recreational use does not require any special license or paperwork to operate. However, you must still act in accordance with the several requirements, including safety regulations set by Congress, a set of safety guidelines by a community-based organization, or under FAA guidance that you can find here: http://www.faa.gov/ uas/publications/model_aircraft_operators/

Some other facts for recreational drone use:

  • Should stay below 400 feet
  • Need to follow temporary flight restrictions around stadiums and racetracks
  • Must keep drone in your sight at all times
  • Drones near fires and other emergencies can threaten safety and can hinder rescue efforts
  • Must stay away from manned aircraft of any kind
  • Do not fly over unprotected people or moving vehicles
  • Remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property
  • Do not fly in bad weather conditions such as high wind or reduced visibility
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph anyone in areas when there is an expectation of privacy with the individual’s permission (see the AMA’s privacy policy on this)

Remember that this is just a brief summary of the regulations for flying a drone, and that laws are constantly changing. Officials are still trying to figure out how to regulate this new technology, and rules are still being determined. You should always contact the FAA or other local authority if you have any questions, as regulations vary by location and by each individual case. You can also find out more from some of these sources:


Fire Up Video provides mobile LED Jumbotron outdoor screen rentals for events all over the Midwest, including professional live video production. We rent screens in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, and more. For more information on Jumbotron LED video board rental at your event, contact us baum3@earthlink.net or 844-533-8848.

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