Through the lens of a “Drone”

FAA advises people to fly their aircraft below 400 feet

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – We used to get wooden planes for Christmas, then it was small electronic helicopters, now they have become larger and a camera has been added, and the unmanned aircraft best known as “drones” are taking off in popularity.

Jeffrey Byrnes is a professional photographer and showed 22News his drone. “For a photographer, I can definitely go out and capture landscapes and various properties and different real estate applications that I wouldn’t otherwise wouldn’t be able to get and that could make a huge impact on my business and my clients businesses,” Byrnes said.

Byrnes used a drone to document the partial building collapse of the old Essex House Hotel in Holyoke.  Firefighters used his footage to help determine what they were dealing with. But there are concerns of who and when drones should be used.

Byrnes told 22News, “It’s a big responsibility and I think people need to think about that when they’re purchasing them.”

The Federal Aviation Administration was supposed to come out with a proposal for rules and regulations for drones sometime last month. Now it will be sometime this year.  In the meantime, people who have purchased drones are waiting to see where and when they will be able to use them, particularly for commercial use.

“It’s scaring them that so many people have these, but I wouldn’t be opposed to if I had to have permit for it you know something that says I have the right to do this because it prevents me from prospering from this technology that can be added to my workload,” Byrnes said.

Right now, the FAA advises people to fly their aircraft below 400 feet and not beyond a line of sight. You cannot fly near airports, manned aircraft, or stadiums. And right now, you cannot make money off any drone footage.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salc sent 22News the following statement: “We are continuing to work with our administration colleagues to finish the rule. It is our goal is to get the proposal right.”

Click here to find what the FAA has to educate people about unmanned aircraft.

You can find photography by Jeffrey Byrnes here.

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