Helinet Aviation Services LLC and its owner Alan D. Purwin have received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones for film and television production.
Purwin and Helinet, a Van Nuys company, were both given exemptions on Wednesday to operate two eight-rotor unmanned aircraft weighing no more than 55 pounds, flying no higher than 500 feet in altitude and always within line-of-sight of a pilot or observer.
In September, the FAA granted exemptions to six companies wanting to use drones in film and television production, including two in the Valley – Pictorvision Inc., in Van Nuys, and Astraeus Aerial, in Encino.
Along with the approval for Purwin and Helinet, the FAA amended its exemption for Pictorvision to include two additional types of unmanned aircraft the company can operate for filming.
The FAA has been working the past two years on rules that would allow commercial use of unmanned aircraft. The agency has a Sept. 30, 2015, deadline to fully integrate drones of all sizes into the national airspace.
In June, the agency gave approval for the first commercial use of a drone when BP Exploration Inc. in Alaska had a Puma AE fly over the Prudhoe Bay oil field. The plane was made by AeroVironment Inc., a Monrovia company, at its Simi Valley plant.
The other aerial photography or video production companies receiving exemptions were RC Pro Production Consulting, in Huntington Beach; Aerial Mob LLC, in San Diego; Snaproll Media LLC, in Nashville; and HeliVideo Productions LLC, in Austin, Texas.