Rules and Regulations – Just Business as Usual
There is a part of our business that is for the most part invisible to our clients, yet it requires doing tasks that, if not done, would in many cases prohibit us from providing the services our clients seek, even when the requests being made are completely legitimate.
Because of where we are located, the 30-mile restricted fly zone encompassing DC and beyond has a significant impact on how we go about doing business. Commercial airliners adhering to regular schedules can fly within this zone without a problem, but unscheduled flights of any kind are strictly forbidden. The key word here is unscheduled, meaning if you have an approved flight plan and a legitimate reason to enter the restricted airspace you can usually be given permission or a waiver to do so. That does not mean you will be allowed to buzz the White House, but you could take photographs or videos of the Mall, and the White House, from 1,000 feet up or more if your flight plan calls for it, if it has been approved, and as long as it is strictly adhered to.
Rules and Regulations are Many, but are Manageable
We have to deal with restrictions such as these on many occasions; to the point where doing so is just another part of our business, and a part of our business we handle quite well. We are also allowed to provide you with the images you seek because our camera operators are escorted to and from the work site by a certified pilot. Deep down in the Federal Aviation Agency’s book of regulations, there are sections that indicate our camera operators could not be transported by other than a certified pilot, also known as the pilot in command, and take photographs for business purposes. A tourist would not break the rules by taking photos from an aircraft piloted by a non-certified pilot, but we would be breaking them.
In addition, as we put our flight plans together, we sometimes come across situations where different FAA regulations apply to different segments of the flight plan. Sometimes these regulations are contradictory, and at times aviators are unaware of them. Even explanations of rules which are not perfectly clear are sometimes unclear or ambiguous; suggesting that whoever drafted a particular regulation may be the only one understanding it and may no longer be available to provide an interpretation.
We Know the Rules and We Follow Them
FAA regulations are not always easy reading, but this is not a complaint. The message to you our client, or potential client, is that we always try our best to follow the rules and have been successful in doing so. When we provide you with the images you need, the rules will have been followed. You will never be in danger of being accused of requesting or accepting photographs or images that have been obtained by other than perfectly legal means.
There is much more to our business than meets the eye, which is just another way of saying we are always ready and prepared to provide the services you need, and will advise you of any rules, regulations, or other conditions that could act as impediments in providing those services. When we accept an assignment, everything from flight planning, to weather and lighting conditions, to aircraft and equipment maintenance will have been addressed, so when there is an impediment, which is an infrequent thing, we are usually able to come up with a satisfactory solution. If your needs are legitimate, they will be satisfied.