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NAR petitions for drone use

FAA policy prohibits any commercial use

The drones are coming — or at least, they will if the Federal Aviation Administration amends their rules.

The National Association of Realtors is pushing for an exception for Realtors in the current rules on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology since their motives don’t disrupt safety concerns, according to a letter sent on Tuesday to the FAA. 

The FAA's current rules prohibit the use of UAVs, more commonly called drones, for commercial purposes — like marketing real estate.

But that hasn't stopped real estate pros from thinking about what drone use might mean for their businesses. 

"Realtors are showing tremendous interest and enthusiasm for new drone technologies that could help them market listings in an efficient and environmentally sensible manner," NAR said in an emailed statement.

“While safety and privacy concerns presented by UAV technology are NAR’s primary concerns, our members are also concerned about current FAA policy that prohibits any commercial use of this technology and hinders the growth of many industries,” NAR said.  

While NAR says it supports regulation that allows industries to use this technology to enhance business development, it also wants to ensure that any future regulatory framework is not so burdensome and expensive as to prevent UAVs from being used by industries that can benefit from its use.

NAR currently represents over 1 million real estate professionals, and it wants them to benefit from the array of uses that come with UAV technology, including, law enforcement, environmental scanning, geographical surveys and disaster recovery assessments.

Through the technology, consumers are able to make a better decision on a property since they will have more access through the UAV.

“Use of UAV technology by the real estate industry is simple compared to other applications such as land surveying or law enforcement. The use of UAV technology would be limited in scope to the property itself,” NAR said. “Properly written regulation would permit the use of UAV technology within the real estate industry, while maintaining safety in the NAS and privacy of citizens.”   

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