In the US the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently prohibits commercial drone flights over populated areas. However, a new government sponsored committee is recommending new standards that could help speed-up the roll-out of commercial drone flights.
The current ban has led to frustration amongst a lot of industries. For example TV stations are desperately wanting to make the most of the technology, however, they are currently limited to flying drones in the middle of nowhere – i.e. places where breaking news is unlikely to occur.
Cellular network providers are also eager to use drones to inspect cell towers, which are often in urban areas, and companies like Amazon have plans to use drones for package deliveries which, unless the package recipient lives in a very remote location, will involve the drone flying over city neighbourhoods.
Recommendations that were sent to the FAA last week, call for a categorisation of smaller drones so that small versions can be flown in urban areas and even over crowds. Out of the four categories, the first one would limit drone weight to a mere half-pound.