WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce Thursday that it is granting permits to seven movie and television production companies to fly drones, an important step toward greater use of the technology by commercial operators, said attorneys and a company official familiar with the decision.
However, the permits are expected to come with limitations, including that the unmanned aircraft be used only on closed sets and that they be operated by a three-person team, including a trained drone operator.
Until now, the only permit for commercial drone operations the FAA has granted has been to the Conoco Phillips oil company, which has flown two kinds of unmanned aircraft in unpopulated areas of Alaska and over the Arctic Ocean with significant limitations on their use.
The FAA is under intense pressure from Congress and a plethora of industries that want to use the technology or sell it…
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