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U.S. considers lifting drone ban, for Hollywood

Posting in Technology

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Drones could bring innovation to a lot of industries, from shipping to farming. As we reported on SmartPlanet, drone use in farming could improve crop health and yield and reduce pesticide and water use. Only one problem: they're banned in the United States for commercial use.

But, good news! The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is considering lifting that ban ... for Hollywood.

Priorities.

In a statement from the FAA, seven aerial photo and video production companies are asking for an exemption from the FAA that would allow the television and film industries to use unmanned aircraft systems.

"If the exemption requests are granted, there could be tangible economic benefits as the agency begins to address the demand for commercial UAS operations," the FAA statement said. "However, all the associated safety issues must be carefully considered to make sure any hazards are appropriately mitigated. The petitioner must still obtain operational approval from the FAA."

But the FAA isn't leaving out the farmers, or the other industries -- like electric utilities and oil -- that are lining up to receive a drone exemption. With regards to all industries seeking exemption, the FAA says it has been "working for several months to implement the provisions of Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and move forward with UAS integration before proposing a small UAS rule."

Could this be a sign that drone exemptions for key industries are coming sooner than expected?

Photo: Flickr/Don McCullough

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— By on June 3, 2014, 8:45 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure