FAA eases drone rules

Package deliveries could be closer than we thought with the FAA’s recent easing of some drone rules designed to benefit commercial operators, according to an Associated Press article. The FAA has already eased quadcopter altitude allowances from 200 feet to 400 feet above the ground (with a special waiver).

A special government-sponsored committee is also suggesting the FAA create four categories of drones, from the smallest and lightest, which could fly unrestricted over people, to those that might weigh substantially more and be able to be in the air for longer periods of time over crowds.

Drones are still banned from flying at night, out of eyesight from the operator, or near airports.

Reportedly, current restrictions have frustrated commercial businesses like television stations that want to cover news stories more effectively, or cellular telephone companies (and TV stations) that need their towers checked on a regular basis.

In addition to commercial businesses dreaming of drone package-deliveries, the Internet has been a showcase for other experimental uses from private operators — good or bad — including attaching a firearm or even a chainsaw that can cut tall trees.