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NAR President to Congress: Realtors® excited for responsible commercial drone use.

The real estate industry is ready to use drones for marketing properties and other applications, and Realtors® believe those efforts should go hand in hand with a commitment to personal safety and privacy.

That’s according to National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron, who testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on Thursday.

“Commercial use of UASs has the potential to create new jobs and businesses specializing in their uses,” Polychron said in testimony before the subcommittee. “NAR and its members are excited about these possibilities but also understand the need to balance them with protecting the privacy and safety of citizens and other users of the country’s National Air Space. As end-users of drone technology, Realtors® want clear regulation that permits the commercial application of UAS’s in a way that is affordable to users and safe for their communities, both on the ground and in the air.”

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The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization Act of 2012 charged the FAA with developing a regulatory framework to clear a path for the responsible use of drones in the national airspace, while also preserving safety, privacy and national security.  NAR submitted comments to the FAA on September 23, 2014 to encourage the FAA to quickly act in creating a regulatory framework, as interest in the technology continues to grow.

Since then, NAR has worked closely with the FAA to move the process forward. Polychron applauded the FAA’s ongoing work in his testimony before Congress.

“The FAA’s proposed rulemaking is a good beginning to the process of creating a regulatory regime supporting integration of UAS technology into the NAS,” Polychron noted in his testimony. “The rule’s risk-and safety-based approach comports with what NAR believes is a common sense, reasonable approach to this technology.”

Wide-scale commercial drone use is currently prohibited by the FAA, but over 1,300 waivers – known as Section 333 waivers – have been issued for commercial operations around the country. A significant percentage of those have gone to operators in the real estate industry, and momentum continues to build behind the concept.

The House Judiciary Committee’s hearing, entitled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Commercial Applications and Public Policy Implications,” focused on the potential business applications of unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, indicating continued interest in the issue.

The full text of Chris Polychron’s testimony to the subcommittee is available here.