Thursday, January 08, 2015

FAA issues commercial drone permits to an agriculture business and a real estate company

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued commercial drone permits to a pair of agriculture and real estate companies, Jack Linshi reports for Time. "Exemptions to the ban on commercial drones were made for Advanced Aviation Solutions in Spokane, Wash., for 'crop scouting' and to Douglas Trudeau of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Ariz., for enhanced aerial footage of buildings, according to an FAA statement." (Associated Press photo by Jeff Chiu)

"Advanced Aviation Solutions will use a 1.5-pound eBee drone to take photographs of farm fields for measurement and inspection purposes, while Trudeau will use a Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter to 'enhance academic community awareness and augment real estate listing videos,' the FAA said," Linshi writes. "Among other rules, the permits require commercial drones to have an on-the-ground 'pilot' and an observer and that the drone must not leave the operator’s line of sight."

The FAA has granted commercial drone permits to 11 companies in filmmaking, oil and gas and landfill industries, Linshi writes. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled in November that drones are aircraft and are subject to existing aviation laws. Until FAA rules are put in place, most commercial use of drones remains illegal. Rules are not expected until September. (Read more)

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