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The Federal Aviation Administration today released a set of proposed guidelines for piloting commercial drones, a practice which had previously been banned.

Under the newly proposed guidelines, commercial drone pilots must be certified and their drones must maintain an altitude of less than 500 feet and a speed of less than 100 miles per hour. Drones must weigh no more than 55 pounds and may only be flown during daylight hours — within the pilot’s line of sight.

The regulations aim to bolster safety by using smaller drones to inspect bridges and cell towers (a job with well-documented dangers). Commercial drones might also be used to map property, produce aerial photography, or conduct search-and-rescue missions by law enforcement.

The guidelines will be open for public comment for 60 days. It’s currently unclear how these federal guidelines will affect existing bans on unmanned aircraft. Check out Mother Jones to see if (and how) drone use is legal in your state.




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