Cape Productions Granted First-of-a-Kind Permission from the FAA for Drone Video Service

FAA decision marks a new chapter in the use of drones for commercial applications in the United States

Jan 20, 2016, 09:00 ET from Cape Productions

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Cape Productions (Cape) – a consumer drone video service for action sports – announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted an amendment to the company's existing Section 333 exemption for commercial drone operations in the United States (U.S.). The amendment is tailored specifically to Cape's operations and makes the company the first operator in the U.S. authorized to fly drones within 500 feet of customers and in an area wider than a closed set. All U.S. Cape locations will begin operating under the new amendment this month, January 2016.

"As the first consumer drone video service to launch in the U.S., Cape is excited to move forward under the FAA's new grant and continue to serve as a leader in the commercial drone industry," said Jason Soll, CEO of Cape Productions. "This decision paves the way for Cape's continued growth and reach into a wide variety of action sports, and also sets the foundation for an entirely new category of legal drone operations in the U.S. Cape now has the ability to offer applications for both consumers and businesses that were impossible under the standard aerial data collection and closed set filming Section 333 exemptions that other operators currently work under."

The FAA's amendment clarifies and streamlines the regulatory requirements governing Cape's service and places the company's operations in a unique class apart from other companies authorized to perform outdoor aerial data collection and closed set filming. Previous decisions forbid drone operations closer than 500 feet to anyone other than the pilot and visual observer (for aerial data collection exemptions) or persons on a closed set, all of whom have consented to be involved in and are necessary to the film production (for closed set filming exemptions). Unlike those decisions, Cape's new grant explicitly allows the company to fly drones in an area wider than a closed set and near people participating in the intended purpose of the drone's operation, including skiers, provided they are briefed beforehand on the operations and provide consent.

"We have worked closely with the FAA since 2014 to ensure regulatory compliance of our service and are proud of our 100 percent safety record to date across thousands of flights around the world," said Louis Gresham, President of Cape Productions. "Safety and compliance have been our top priority since Cape began providing drone services to customers, and we highly encourage any business or individual considering working with a drone company to check whether its operations are within the limitations of the company's 333 exemption, and that all local, regional, and federal aviation requirements are met."   

Cape has filmed skiers in Canada since December 2014 with Transport Canada permission and in the U.S. since October 2015 under the closed set Section 333 exemption held by the company's Director of Production, Jason Toth. Cape received its initial Section 333 exemption from the FAA in April 2015 for aerial data collection, and this amendment expands the original scope of that exemption. Cape is currently operational at Squaw Valley Resort (CA), Homewood Mountain Resort (CA) and Fernie Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada. In the coming months, Cape also plans to be operational at Winter Park Resort (CO), Powder Mountain Resort (UT), Timberline Lodge & Ski Area (OR), Mount Hood Meadows Resort (OR), Mountain Creek Resort (NJ) and Schweitzer Mountain Resort (ID).

About Cape Productions
Cape Productions ( is the drone video service for action sports. Cape's customers receive professionally edited highlight videos just hours after drones film them enjoying their favorite activities. Since inception in June of 2014, Cape has conducted operations all over the world, partnered with renowned venues and filmed some of the best athletes on the planet. Cape's founders hail from Google[x] and Stanford, and the company is supported by a world-class team of luminaries in the fields of robotics, action sports, drones and venture capital. The company has raised more than $10 million to date to bring aerial video and data to anyone, anywhere.


SOURCE Cape Productions