San Francisco City Drone Law UAS Filming Policy?

Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
100
Reaction score
23
Location
San Francisco, CA, USA
Do any San Francisco Bay Area commercial 107 pilots in the forum have experience flying a drone in the City of San Francisco proper, under the published rules? I have a potential shoot coming up next month, was looking for war stories, help/advice if any of ya'll have it?! Thanks in advance!

Filming with a Drone/UAS | Film SF
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
113
Reaction score
74
Age
47
Hmmm...those rules seem to step on the FAA just a bit. What if the responsible party has a waiver of any of the rules, such as for night flight? Do these rules only apply to filming/movies? I can't imagine it applies to any sUAV commercial use.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mike_ks
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
100
Reaction score
23
Location
San Francisco, CA, USA
Hmmm...those rules seem to step on the FAA just a bit. What if the responsible party has a waiver of any of the rules, such as for night flight? Do these rules only apply to filming/movies? I can't imagine it applies to any sUAV commercial use.
I know I had a similar thought; I'm trying to ascertain how much if any of these rules apply to commercial sUAS operations, or if it's just big budget filming and movie stuff.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
113
Reaction score
74
Age
47
Unfortunately, the industry is still too young to have an association or organization actively fighting laws. That's not to say the ones that do exist don't help, but I don't know of one that would file a lawsuit to challenge a local law. As an example, AOPA fights the FAA and lobbies Congress for changes, and will file lawsuits as necessary to challenge bad laws on behalf of general aviation. They have a Drone membership level now, so perhaps they will start to get more involved. You might hit up their legal services division to see whether they can offer any guidance or assistance. But my guess, this is all still so very new, they may not be of much help.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
842
Reaction score
376
Location
Albany, NY
Based on the language used on that page and that it's called "Film SF", it looks like it only applies to commercial filming. Over sUAS commercial operations are not covered at all.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
113
Reaction score
74
Age
47
Based on the language used on that page and that it's called "Film SF", it looks like it only applies to commercial filming. Over sUAS commercial operations are not covered at all.
Yea, but this is California...and the ambiguous nature of some of it would leave me cautious too. "Filming" is technically anytime you hit the record button. But yes, I get what you are saying that it appears to only apply to the movie production industry. I just wouldn't put it past SF to interpret it differently to meet their needs. It also specifically references public property and buildings, so perhaps it only applies to use of footage in a commercial production of those properties? It looks as if they were trying to mimic the FAA, but left out some very important details, as well as made their own definitions of terms.

To the OP: You might just call them up and ask.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DroneOnNDP
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
297
Reaction score
69
Age
48
I don't know about the filmsf rules specifically, but in general, SF is pretty strict about motion picture and television production overall, and they are also ALWAYS looking for ways to get businesses to pay for the police force, and my understanding that television / movie productions need to pay out for the police presence.

Also, do note that when there is a ball game at AT&T park, roughly half the City is under a TFR. Of course, the Giants won't be playing any post-season baseball this year, so don't worry if your shoot is in October...

I am going to go out on a limb and tell you that there are exactly one-bazillion different regulations governing where you can and can't put up your drone around here. I think out by the ocean beach we still might have some federal wildlife refuge? Can't think of a state park off the top of my head... might be one, might have regulations.

just be sure to do your homework is all i am saying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DroneOnNDP
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
100
Reaction score
23
Location
San Francisco, CA, USA
Thanks everyone. I called the film dept and looks like any commercial end use photo or video filming on public property (streets & sidewalks mostly) likely technically requires a permit. Operations from park land would potentially require a permit from parks dept. You sorta have to call and run the basic plan by them and they can tell you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Just Mark
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
297
Reaction score
69
Age
48
Thanks everyone. I called the film dept and looks like any commercial end use photo or video filming on public property (streets & sidewalks mostly) likely technically requires a permit. Operations from park land would potentially require a permit from parks dept. You sorta have to call and run the basic plan by them and they can tell you.
It doesn't surprise me that the film department wants money from you. Movie and television production is big business in SF, and to be honest, if you can't step up to the plate financially, the people at City Hall would rather not deal with you.

I found out that all STATE Parks in the "Bay Area District" require permission, but with one exception. Also, State Beaches are off limits in the Bay Area District as well.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/519/files/BAD_PO_Model_Aircraft__UAS_Glider_Use.pdf

And you already know about National Parks (GG Bridge and the Presidio) and wilelife habitats.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DroneOnNDP

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
134,942
Messages
1,396,070
Members
98,340
Latest member
Unable