FAA Clears Drones for Takeoff

The FAA unveils rules for commercial drone use.
6:39 | 02/16/15

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Transcript for FAA Clears Drones for Takeoff
The FAA finally out with some long awaited rules on commercial drone operations. And while the drug industry does appear to be satisfied with what the FAA is offering some aggressive companies in the space like Amazon. Good in fact be facing a potential blow and be grounded. Well when I'm Dan Butler and New York. So here with more on these regulations want to bring in ABC's David currently in Washington and David what do we know about these new rules. Police of the key word commercial this is for people who want to fly drones for business purposes that is currently outlawed and lets you get a waiver. So what the FAA has come up with are these rules that would allow businesses media companies like ABC news. Movie companies farmers who want to look look at their crops utilities who want to check their power lines are pipes to actually do so. In order did do that. These people will have to get a certificate a written test as a whole new FAA. Certificate. It doesn't sound like it's going to be is extensive and basically that show that you know what you're doing you understand the airspace a written test pretty straightforward. You will not have to have a pilot's license then you can fly the drone up to 500 feet into the air. Only during the daytime have to stay five miles away from an airport and away from crowds of people so this will allow businesses to do a lot of flying their drones. The one problem is it also requires line of sight. That means the operator must be able to see that drone flying without binoculars with the naked guy. And that's a problem for Amazon and others because they want Droughns again autonomous they can fly anywhere drop off something and then comeback using GPS to locate themselves. But FAA's a little bit worried that the technology's not quite there to let those kind of drones. Go out on their own but they left the door open it in the future something like that could be approved it. I say okay in and justice to clarify this this is for commercial use and what about recreational what colleges you know amateur Susie south India when he nothing changes and that Smith I think has gotten a little bit loss in the reporting here. As the regulations stay the same that's up to 400 feet away from an airport. And away from a crowd of people. And you can do it for Euro and use. But these amateurs the hobbyists of the ones who have cause the problems of getting too close to aircraft. A running into buildings the Space Needle in Manhattan skyscraper. So nothing changes there. And what I'd like to know and we can get a chance to ask the FAA yesterday when these rules were proposed. Is whether or not they plan to increase the fines for violating those rules for hobbyists use it's the radio controlled use if you had a real control plane. Same rules if you use one of these drones and you're not using it for business purpose ready exactly because as you. It out there that's that skip ahead at the White House not that long ago about that Drummond that today made its way on the lawn there. Back to the commercial side of things so. Is this kind of I regulations and put in place not is that enough to drive Amazon's the Google's of the world that want to use these drones in their business strategy. To push their business overseas in fact. That's what they're saying I mean that's that's that's their position some might call that a threat. But the the FAA administrator left the door open yesterday when he announced all this that. Listen this is not the last word on drones we are gonna study it's it's called see and avoid technology and a drone that the drone would see. That there is something in its way and avoid it. And the technology according the FA is not there yet for something like Amazon or others to use these drones that way. But here's what's interest. It's just talk for the business uses of these small drones and drones and general. Even the government came out with a study released with this that they think thirteen point six billion dollars an economic impact. From the use of drones in the first three years. After these rules are approved that process could take a year or longer to approve these rules so as of today it is illegal for ABC news or any other. Company that doesn't have a waiver to go out and use one of these for a business purpose. And it will remain that way until these rules. Are actually put in the place. It is in May and he's put it out there again this is a waiver this is not about taking any kind of looked an actual flight tests this is a written test right so basically. They said it's a completely new classification a certification. For the F aid the aircraft do not have to be air have an airworthiness certificate either which was a big bugaboo. For the folks who build this if you had to prove that your crap was air worthy. It could take two or three years of by that time the technology may have been already too old Sony you don't have to do that. And has written test com and that the finger and collateral is this most of Iraq and think of is. The old FCC requirement for radio disc jockeys that it would take a written test to prove they knew how to run a radio station I think it's something similar to that. But not actually having to get the actual. As the equipment certified as well. And and less as when asked about the stated because in a lot of times that there has been discussion we're been talking about the limitations of the technology right now. Has there been discussion that we know of at this point between the FAA in some of these drone makers in fact to improve that technology. Well the FAA doesn't that you know that date they will watch industry and see where industry is with this technology. And I can tell you that Amazon has made. Its point of view completely clear to the government and just about everybody else. As to what it wants to do with these drones and in its statement reacting to these proposed rules basically said. The government needs to work expeditiously. To. Make rules it will allow. Amazon to do what it wants to do. To serve its customers and for its business it was a pretty straightforward and sharp statement about what the FAA's stunts so far. But don't forget the administrator sets this is not the final word. And think about how fastest technology is changed in just the last two or three years in these rules are two or three years late almost four years late. The technology is moving so quickly by the time these rules are put into place maybe there will be see and avoid technology that the FAA would then consider. I'm doing it rapidly change art ABC's David Crowe in Washington David thank you for that it. You can keep up with the store in real time might download any ABC news and star and story for exclusive updates on the go. For now. I'm Dan that's learning more.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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