Commercial Filming Use of UAS (Drones)

Flying an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS or “Drone”) in the City of Seattle for commercial photography purposes requires operators to be fully licensed by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), as well as follow all 14 CFR Part 107 requirements. In some instances, a City of Seattle Master Film Permit is required for use. 

  • When the UAS is taking off or landing on City-owned property (e.g., streets, sidewalks, buildings, parks)
  • When the UAS flight requires control of City property (e.g., holding vehicle or pedestrian traffic)

  • When the UAS is taking off and landing on private property, and is flying exclusively over private property
  • When the UAS is taking off and landing on private property, and flying over city property without need for control of City property
  • When the UAS flight path is over waterways, and not taking off or landing on City property
  • Aerial photography for Real Estate or Construction purposes
  • When flying under the rules for Recreational Flyers & Modeler Community-Based Organizations

  • A copy of the operators Remote Pilot Certificate showing current Part 107 compliance
  • A copy of the UAS Certificate of Registration for any crafts that will be used for productions to prove all UAS used in the production is registered with the FAA
  • Proof of $2M UAS/Drone Aviation Liability Coverage in the form of:
    • Certificate of Insurance
    • Additional Insured Policy Endorsement CG 20 12 or CG 20 26 or equivalent endorsement appropriate for City permit issuance
  • A site plan showing take-off and landing areas, flight path, and any areas of pedestrian, traffic, or other ground control if necessary
    • The City of Seattle does not approve flight plans or dictate use of federal airspace. Flight plans are only used to help us advise operators on recommendations that may be needed to fly safely in some locations. 

The City of Seattle collects operator information (FAA license, UAS registration documents, and Aviation Insurance) and general flight information to ensure legitimacy of operator's legal ability to fly, and knowledge and professionalism, and to permit legal use of public property for take-off, landing, and any control of public property required for operation of UAS. UAS use must operate in compliance with 14 CFR Part 107 requirements and is subject to FAA regulations and penalties 

Please see the City of Seattle Unmanned Aircraft System for Film Production: Conditions for Use document for a more detailed summation of legal expectations of UAS operators while filming commercially in the City of Seattle.