FAA Approves Commercial Drone Use

Local News

The new rules by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, or FAA, go into effect today. The rules clarify what’s acceptable for the commercial use of drones. FOX 25/48’s Jessica Bringe explains the changes.

New rules governing commercial drones are taking flight today.

“What the rule provides is for routine commercial drone operations within certain limitations.”

According to the FAA, drones must be at maximum of 55-pounds, fly under 400-feet at a speed of no more than 100 miles per hour and can only be operated during the daylight.

“We believe that it will enable innovation to flourish while maintaining the highest levels of safety in the world’s busiest and most complex aviation system.”

UW-Eau Claire geography professor Joseph Hupy uses drones to help map terrain, a practice he believes will continue to expand

“With the true American entrepreneurial spirit, we’re going to see a lot of new markets emerge that we don’t yet know exist.”

From construction, surveying, search and rescue, agriculture and video production, Hupy says the commercial uses could be endless

“The markets are probably going to grow really from the bottom up is what you usually see.”

And while the FAA estimates 600-thousand commercial drones will take to the skies within a year, Hupy says that may mean a number of safety breaches in the future

“You’re going to see a lot of people entering this market and the people who are doing this safely and legally are going to be the ones who last and the ones who are cowboying it are going to fade away.”

Jessica Bringe FOX 25/48 News at 9.

The drones must also stay within the pilot’s visual line of sight and operators still need to apply for special waivers if they want to fly drones at night, above 400-feet or additional operations.

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