Local production company gets FAA approval to use drones

Shelby DeSoto
Sky Pro Imaging has the ability to take breath taking photos like this aerial shot of Seaside, Fla.

Sky Pro Imaging, a company specializing in video production, photography and design, just received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate unmanned aerial systems, or drones, for commercial purposes as well as closed set motion picture filming.

The Seagrove-based company is the only production company to have this approval in both Bay and Walton counties, said Owner Joshua Lanier.

“We filed back in April for our FAA exemption status and just received it on July 23,” said Lanier. “It’s relatively new. There are less than 1,000 issued in the United States.”

“It has a lot of benefits for our company and a lot of benefits for the community,” he said. “This area is so beautiful and there are so many people who have no clue how beautiful this entire county is, and it’s not just the beaches but the whole area around the Panhandle. It’s such a diverse environment.”

Lanier started Sky Pro Imaging a few years back doing research and development on using drones and video production.

“Our FAA authorization is really great news for the real estate community,” said Lanier, who noted this new opportunity for real estate companies.

“[Drones] add that other element and increases the production value… I believe it’s going to help market the area,” said Lanier.

Sky Pro Imaging also films inside properties, perform editing, graphics and production work as well as creating website for clients.

Blue Door Video reached out to Sky Pro Imaging when the company needed aerial footage for its documentary of the recent reef deployment with South Walton Artificial Reef Association in early July. Both companies believe in promoting the area by working together with the local community.

Sky Pro Imaging also said they are looking forward to the passing of Florida’s film incentive bill, which passed through its first senate committee in March. This bill will provide tax incentives to bring film crews to the Sunshine State, thus creating more jobs.

“We’re trying to build a stronger and tighter community of film crews that work closer together. It’s a very competitive industry… there’s power in numbers and if we all work together, we can all achieve greater productions,” Lanier said.

To learn more about Sky Pro Imaging, visit http://www.skyproimaging.com.