Tuesday, the White House released regulations intended to keep drones from colliding with things in flight and people on the ground. They require that drone pilots keep their aircraft within sight, operate only in daylight, weigh less than 55 pounds, fly no higher than 400 feet and not fly over strangers. Commercial operators will be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration and required to pass an aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved test center. The same security considerations that ban nongovernment airplanes from flying over the District of Columbia would apply to use of drones. What the rules don’t address are the over-the-horizon drone operations desired by many commercial aspirants, a fact that FAA Administrator Michael Huerta acknowledged will have to be addressed in concert with the industry.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.
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