US authorities have said they are considering allowing the film and television industries to use drones.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said there could be "tangible economic benefits", but cautioned safety hazards must be "mitigated".
Seven aerial video and photography firms have petitioned the FAA for exemptions to the agency's current ban on commercial drone use.
The FAA did not set a timeline for determining the exemptions.
Businesses have been pushing hard for permission to use drones, which are much less expensive to run than manned aircraft.
But the FAA has been cautious, arguing that the US has some of the busiest airspace in the world.
It wants to be sure that drones can be integrated with existing commercial and military traffic.
Congress has given the FAA until 2015 to create rules regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones.
They are already commonly used elsewhere in the world, including on high-profile movies, including The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which was filmed in New Zealand.
The BBC has a team that uses a hexacopter to film aerial shots.
Most recently it was used to film shots of Brazil in the run up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.