>> Get ready to see more drones zipping through the skies. The FAA on Tuesday releasing the first rules clearing the way for thousands of small businesses to use drones for everything from aerial photography to inspecting power lines. David Shepardson in on this story.>> This is gonna speed up the process by which commercial educators and researchers can use drones for things like aerial photography, checking on crops, inspecting pipelines.
Before these new rules take effect in August, currently you have to apply for a waiver from the FAA and get approval, and go through a series of hoops to show yes, you are qualified to operate. But given that there are thousands of applicants, and about 5,000 have been approved to date, it takes a long time.
Whereas under the new rules, if you have a pilot certification for a drone, and you meet the criteria, you're gonna be able to just go out and start operating one.>> Operators who pass a written test can fly drones weighing up to 55 pounds, as high as 400 feet, as long as they don't fly them over people or near airports.
The drones must also be in sight at all times. Ruling out customer deliveries, such as those envisioned by Amazon, for now.