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Drone Debate To Heat Up As FAA Plans First Civil-Use Rules

Drone Debate To Heat Up As FAA Plans First Civil-Use Rules

The US Federal Aviation Administration this week is expected to unveil its first rules that will permit businesses to fly drones – though only for limited uses. Agency officials have been hinting that the projected rules will allow drones weighing roughly 50 pounds (22.7kg) to fly at low altitudes – but only in daylight and only within sight of operators.

This would seemingly prevent their use by the likes of Amazon and Google for deliveries of small packages to offices and homes.

Manufacturers, trade associations and government drone experts say the expected narrow scope and cautious approach won’t satisfy many segments of an industry seeking to grow much faster than regulators can cope, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

It says commercial drone operations are projected to attract millions of new users, with possible uses ranging from inspecting buildings and bridges to spraying crops and searching for downed power lines.

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