United States

UAS / Drones

Working with an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)/Drone

(U.S. Productions)
  • Small, unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds— including payload—at takeoff (unless the vendor has a waiver provided to Risk Management and Production Safety)
  • UAS vendor must utilize the Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability (LAANC) automated airspace approval system
  • When utilizing First Person View (FPV), the vendor must have a visual observer keeping line of sight on the drone at all times
  • Do not fly above 400ft above ground level (AGL)
  • Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport without approval and notification to the control tower
  • Do not fly a drone from a moving vehicle unless in a sparsely populated area
  • Flying over people is not permitted unless satisfying one of the categories in Subpart D for operations over humans.
  • Night operations are permitted under Part 107.29.

What Production Safety Needs:

In addition to the insurance documentation required by Risk Management, Safety will need the following information from the drone vendor:
  • Pre-flight inspection
  • Written safety guidelines for crew
  • Emergency landing procedures
  • Use of a Visual Observer, assigned to no other duties during drone flight(s)
  • Plan of activity (POA) with a map including:
    • Takeoff/Landing zones (LZ)

    • Flight path/altitude

    • Safe zone for crew members not directly involved in flight operations

    • Emergency landing zone(s) (ELZ)

    • Obstructions to be avoided

If you are planning on using the drone less than 50 ft clearance from cast or crew while in flight (or less than 30 ft. from stunt performers), contact your Production Safety representative to discuss prior to scheduled activity.
Can my crew member fly a drone?

No crew member can fly a drone on productions. Only third party vendors with all safety and insurance requirements can fly a drone on production.

Additional Safety Protocols:

  • Attach Safety Bulletin #36 – Recommended Guidelines for Safely Working Around UAS to the Call Sheet
  • Hold a pre-flight safety brief (review safety guidelines, flight plan and emergency procedures)
  • Hold a safety meeting prior to flight with all pertinent cast and crew.
  • Follow all protocols as outlined in the POA.
  • Limit radio frequency (RF) use during flight operations to reduce risk of drone control failure
  • (For Los Angeles and Downtown L.A. locations only) When working in downtown Los Angeles, notify Hooper LAPD flight operations of the planned drone use location.

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