Domestic UAVs would be kept on tight leash

The Federal Aviation Administration is drafting a rule that would allow local governments, and even private companies and regular people, to use small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for pretty much anything they want, Politico reports.

But the rule the FAA is drafting — which is being vetted by the Office of Management and Budget for release possibly this spring or summer — would allow only craft of less than 55 pounds to be operated inside the United States. The rule is also expected to require that those small vehicles be operated within sight of the person behind the control stick, severely limiting their range, the article continues.

At present, the FAA bars anyone from operating a UAV without obtaining an experimental operating certificate, the story said. The FAA allows radio-controlled planes, but only when they are used in designated areas, and even then only for recreational purposes.

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