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FAA considering a fast track for businesses that want to use drones

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It's currently illegal to use unmanned aerial drones for anything commercial in the US, something that could be changing sooner than expected. Bloomberg reports that the US Federal Aviation Administration plans a "streamlined" approval process for low-risk commercial uses like farming and filmmaking. The new rule, which will be proposed in November, would allow commercial drones less than 55 pounds to be used in such activities as long as they were considered low risk to humans, structures, and other aircraft. Those approvals could come ahead of a larger reevaluation of FAA regulations covering small unmanned aircraft, expected sometime next year.

Commercial use of drones is currently illegal under FAA rules, and the agency's gone after businesses attempting to make use of the increasingly-prevalent technology. Some early efforts thus far include delivering beer, as well as Valentine's Day flowers. On the horizon though are efforts from major companies like Amazon, and postal carriers like UPS and FedEx, that plan to depend on drones for delivering small items over short distances to cut costs and improve delivery times. Hollywood has also been lobbying for commercial use for the past two years, arguing that it opens up new ways to shoot movies, and trim costs. In the meantime, businesses that plan to use the drones face steep fines if they're caught.