FAA Comes Down Hard on Chicago Drone Photography Business


Chicago-based drone photography company Skypan International has agreed to pay $200,000 in civil penalties for airspace regulations. According to the records the FAA is accusing Skypan of conducting 65 unauthorized flights in New York and Chicago fro 2012-2014.

Skypan has been in operation since 1988 and uses small remote controlled helicopters to help high-rise real estate developers plan their buildings. Skypan has been fighting the FAA for over a year, after the federal agency proposed a $1.9 million fine of them in October of 2015.

While there was no clear law against drone operations in the time between 2012-2014, the FAA said Skypan operated unmanned aircraft (UAS) in congested airspace over New York City and Chicago, and violated airspace regulations and aircraft operating rules.

Skypan maintains they operated safely within the limits of the law, but said they were tired of fighting the FAA and wanted to move forward. Skypan also received their Section 333 exemption in 2015 and is still operating it business.

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