On Wednesday, March 15, the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee held the hearing "Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Innovation, Integration, Successes, and Challenges." The hearing focused on the industry growth seen since the FAA released its rule on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), which went into effect in August 2016, as well as areas in which further regulation is needed for UAS technology to realize its full potential for U.S. businesses and the economy. Witnesses included representatives from the FAA, airports, energy providers, and the UAS industry.
NAR sent a letter to the Committee, which was entered into the record for the hearing, thanking them for looking into this important topic. It pointed out that REALTORS® have been early adopters of UAS technology, using them to photograph properties for listings and create other marketing materials, but that the applications for UAS in the real estate industry go far beyond photography. The FAA's small UAS rule was an important first step, which NAR was pleased to see, but further rulemaking for situations such as flights over crowds, beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights, and night flights are still needed.