ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The FAA last week decided to allow commercial use of drones under strict guidelines. The decision has been in the works since 2005 and still needs final approval. Current rules for drones are to fly for recreation. If commercial you need a pilot’s license. The new FAA rules allow for drones under 55 pounds, you must fly below 500 feet, further than 5 miles from an airport and not directly overhead of people. You must maintain constant visual line of site with the drone.
Haller Concepts of South County is already using drones from commercial photography and video. Safety is the most important aspect for Haller. They always use a two-man crew. One person operates the drone and keeps constant line of sight while the other watches the shot and directs the operator. Haller and many others like them will get their certificate of authorization.
Technology is far outpacing government rules. Law enforcement across the country are interested in using drones. St. Louis Police have asked for permission from the FAA. Groups like drone free St. Louis are opposed to police drones. They want strict privacy rules from the government.
Right now, the new ruling does not allow for companies like Amazon to begin delivering packages using a GPS drone. Line of sight is still required. It may take a year or two for the new FAA rules to be fully implemented.
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