Coit Tower reopens after controversial drone filming

Byby Nick Smith via KGO logo
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
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Coit Tower reopens to the public Tuesday afternoon after a controversial commercial shoot using a drone took place there on Monday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Coit Tower will reopen to the public Tuesday afternoon. Visitors were expected to be turned away for a second day as Logan Media films used a drone to film a corporate commercial. Instead production will wrap up at Alamo Square.

The use of this drone for a commercial shoot in San Francisco has raised the bar for local production and a few temperatures as well.

"Not just Coit Tower but the whole park around it was shut down for a commercial because a drone was used to fly overhead," said John Golinger with Protect Coit Tower.

Golinger said Monday that visitors to Coit Tower were turned away when Logan Media used a drone to shoot parts of their high-end commercial, preventing spectacular views from being enjoyed by those looking to experience the historic landmark.

"That's the first time in the 80 year history of Coit Tower that the entire area around Coit Tower has been cordoned off for private use," said Golinger.

The San Francisco Film Commission calls this one of the safest shoots. The FAA requires keeping the public 200-feet away during use of a drone for filming.

"They got permits to fly an unmanned aerial system, otherwise known as a drone. I think drone has a bad connotation," said Susannah Greason Robbins, Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Commission.

She says under the supervision of the FAA, measures were taken by the production company that went above and beyond what was necessary.

The production team is sizable, as is the revenue being generated by the city.

"They paid the parks department over $11,000 for their permit," said Greason Robbins.

And that's not all -- $1,000 was paid to the San Francisco Film Commission, more than $60,000 to the police department and other agencies. In all, the city will collect more than $200,000 for the first ever commercial shoot using a drone.