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US opens up skies for commercial drone operators

The EHang commercial drones Series V.1 and Series V.2 (top C) are displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 2016The Federal Aviation Administration unveiled long-awaited new rules Tuesday that clear the way for small, commercial drones to operate across US airspace — but don’t expect an aerial delivery from Amazon just yet. Under the FAA’s rules, drone operators will be allowed to fly commercial craft weighing less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms) during daylight hours, provided they can maintain a clear view of the drone at all times. While that effectively precludes the sort of robo-delivery services being developed by Amazon and other major vendors, the new rules will nonetheless ensure drones become increasingly commonplace in the skies.

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