NFL Receives Permission To Use Drones For Filming, Just Not Actual Games

Films, documentaries and television segments featuring footage of professional football practice facilities and stadiums could soon be coming courtesy of an unmanned aircraft, as the NFL received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones for some – very restricted – filming purposes.

The NFL became the first major sports league to receive an exemption from the FAA to use drones for the purpose of shooting aerial footage for NFL Films, The Washington Post reports.

The FAA exemption – announced in a letter [PDF] dated Sept. 17 –  does not give the NFL permission to film actual games with drones, however. Instead, the permission only covers closed-set locations around empty stadiums and practice facilities.

A spokesperson for NFL Films says the drones will be used when there are no people present for scenic shots for productions such as NFL Films Presents and Together We Make Football pieces on the Today Show.

Additionally, the FAA go-ahead includes several other restrictions, including that drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, fly no more than 400 feet above the ground and travel no faster than 100 miles per hour.

“NFL Films has a long history of embracing and employing the latest technology to tell its inimitable stories,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tells the Post. “NFL Films will use the unique visual images captured by drones to enhance their filmmaking and story-telling.”

NFL wins federal approval to film with drones [The Washington Post]

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