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FAA Invites Comments On Drone Policy

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If you have an opinion about allowing the use of commercial unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace, the FAA wants to hear from you -- and soon. Comments will be accepted until mid-July regarding a recent petition from six companies in the movie and TV industry asking for exemptions that would allow them to use small UAS in their businesses. "The agency expects to publish a broad proposed rule for small UAS (under 55 pounds) later this year," the FAA said in its statement. "But the rulemaking process can be lengthy, so the FAA has been working for several months to implement the provisions of Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and move forward with UAS integration before proposing the small UAS rule."

The requests under consideration now "may set a precedent for future commercial UAS exemptions," the FAA said. That's why they are asking the public to weigh in on whether or not to grant them. Other companies previously have filed for exemptions to perform precision agriculture, aerial surveying and flare stack inspections. The FAA has been working to define what exactly is a UAS, what is a model airplane, and what is considered commercial use.

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