Real Estate Industry Early Adopter In Use Of Drones

Real estate and other industries that use aerial photography are leading the way in adopting unmanned aircraft systems, based on the first several hundred exemptions the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted for commercial drone operations, reports Aviation Industry News.

R.J. Carney, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, right, and Mike Kennedy, the general counsel of the Associated General Contractors of America, at the House Unmanned Systems Caucus event. Photo: AUVSI.

On July 23, representatives of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the Motion Picture Association of America, the Associated General Contractors of America, and electrical power company AES participated in a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., hosted by the U.S. House Unmanned Systems Caucus and moderated by Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) CEO Brian Wynne.

For now, the real estate industry appears to be among the fastest industries to adopt drones. Residential and commercial real estate professionals can use drones to collect digital video and still imagery to create web-based property listings.

Speaking at the House forum, Florida realtor Andrew Barbar, representing NAR, cited results of an analysis the association conducted of the first “Section 333” exemptions the FAA granted to applicants seeking to fly drones for commercial purposes—846 as of July 22. Of that number, 377, or 44% of the exemptions, were either real estate-focused or general aerial photography operations that could include real estate applications, according to NAR.

DJI Phantom 3
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An analysis of the first 711 exemptions the FAA granted through June 30, conducted by The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York, determined that 45% of exemptions were for multi-industry photo and film operations. By industry, 25% were for utilities and energy infrastructure; 24% for real estate; 18% for agriculture; and 14% for construction.

AUVSI expects to release its own analysis of the first 500 exemptions on July 29.