Over the past few months, the FAA has granted several exemptions to UAV operators in the commercial market. To date, the FAA has given 14 exemptions to 13 companies in various industries. Most recently, the administration granted the first exemption for the use of UAVs for photography in the real estate market. The Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Ariz. is now authorized to fly a Phantom 2 Vision + quadcopter for photo and video purposes.
The FAA has also granted an exemption to Advanced Aviation Solutions for the use of an eBee Ag UAV to make photographic measurements and perform crop scouting for agriculture. Both applicants will be required to obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) that ensures the airspace for their operations is safe and that they have taken the necessary steps to see and avoid other aircraft.
According to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, both UAVs in these cases do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness, but a pilot with at least an FAA Private Pilot certificate and a current medical certificate, along with an observer, must be present during operation.
Related: UAV News