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FAA Gives Green Light for Six TV, Movie Companies to Use Drones

FAA grants 6 companies permission to fly drones 2:54

The Federal Aviation Administration has loosened restrictions on the commercial use of drones, granting six television and movie companies permission to use the small, unmanned aircraft to shoot scenes on sets. “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone in broadening commercial UAS use while ensuring we maintain our world-class safety record in all forms of flight,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “These companies are blazing a trail that others are already following, offering the promise of new advances in agriculture and utility safety and maintenance.” The drones will be restricted to a height up to 400 feet, and for now are restricted to flying during the day.

Foxx implied that other industries would receive similar consideration, saying the administration is "introducing unmanned aircraft into U.S. airspace incrementally," but that other petitions sought permission for drone use in pipeline patrolling, property management, and surveying. "We expect them to be addressed in the coming weeks and months," he explained in a conference call announcing the new rules.

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—Reuters and NBC News staff