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What are Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) and what implications do they have for drone filming?

Updated: Feb 27

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to restrict aircraft (including drones) from operating without permission in a certain area for a limited time. They are issued for safety or security reasons including:

  • Natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes

  • Certain major sporting events (NFL, MLB, NCAA, etc)

  • Emergency or national security situations (VIP movement, etc)

When filming with a drone, the drone pilot is responsible for making sure the airspace is clear to operate. TFRs might pop up after the film permit has been issued. Even though you already have an approved permit, you will not be able to operate a drone unless you have special authorization to fly. If the pilot is hired by or flying for the event organizer (e.g., major sporting events like the Super Bowl), there is a process to obtain authorization to operate within the TFR.

Aliens and Machines checks for TFRs and Notices to Air Mission (NOTAMs) to ensure drone operation complies with all the regulations on your production. Additionally, we monitor the weather forecast for the location leading up to the shoot day, alerting you if any precautions need to be taken.

Do you have a project coming up that needs aerial filming? Reach out so we can assist you with planning.

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