The US Open will witness a new type of spectator this year. FOX Sports is upping its game and providing fantastic aerial views of the green through the use of drones. HeliVideo, a company based out of Austin, has provided FOX Sports these drones to transmit footage from the sky.
A team comprising of 4 people and equipment worth more than $1 million will help the network capture the aerial view. At the forefront of this endeavor is the DJI Spreading Wings 1000, a state-of-the-art drone with a high-res camera fitted on it. According to the founder of HeliVideo, Eric Austin, the US Open is like the Super Bowl of golf, so it deserves exciting coverage that has never been tried before in the commercial sphere.
Austin and his team are set to land in Tacoma next week to test their drones and use radio frequency that will enable FOX Sports to stream footage from the drone into their live broadcast. For those who are worried about the drones losing control, a licensed pilot will be controlling the drones and an observer will keep an eye on them throughout the tournament.
While this is a great step forward in the sport of golf, the FAA wants to ensure that the drones meet and exceed all standards and regulations put in place by the authority. HeliVideo was among the six companies that were provided an exemption from the authority to use drones at various sporting events, TV shows, or movies.
Even though Austin’s company received clearance, they had to jump through a lot of hoops to get there and will continue to do so to ensure the safety of spectators at the US Open. According to Austin, the FAA is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to regulating drone usage. He thinks that drones can be used for the greater good of mankind and the FAA should expand its horizons in the years to come.