Last week we published a story about the first 500 companies given permission by the FAA to fly drones for commercial purposes over the US. The number of exemptions granted by the FAA has been growing quickly. Today we added all the data from the month of June, increasing the grand total by nearly 50 percent to 711. We also added this data set to the newly created collection of open-source projects from Vox Media, meaning you can dig into these numbers and use them to create stories, charts, or apps of your own.
The more than 200 companies in this new batch are mostly going to pursue similar applications to the original 500. As with the first batch, the majority asked to fly DJI drones. Along with agricultural inspection and aerial photography, there are a couple cool use cases: keeping an eye on flood control facilities, performing forensic investigation of burned out buildings, and monitoring the salmon spawning in Idaho's Snake River. We'll be back in two weeks with fresh data and more details on the latest in drone fishing technology.