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FAA loosens regulations for commercial drones

The Federal Aviation Administration has removed parts of the requirements for operating commercial drones, following several complaints from companies that the process for approval is too long.

Amazon recently complained that its commercial drone was outdated before the FAA even approved it. This lack of quick approval hurts innovation in the drone market, as companies start testing the machines outside of normal piloting areas.

Previously, companies would need to send the airspace they would be testing in alongside the operations, before the FAA approved the drone. Now, the FAA will hand out permits without this information.

The FAA announced the first steps for drone regulation last year, where it banned commercial delivery drones. That has not stopped Amazon, Google and other technology companies from testing out the drones, in the hopes the FAA will remove the ban in the future.

Commercial drones are different from personal drones, which are not regulated by the FAA. In order to get a commercial drone off the ground, companies need to get a permit.

This has put some companies off testing in the US, due to the long approval process. In Europe and China, the regulation against commercial drones is a lot more manageable, although not many US companies have operation bases in those countries.

The FAA has said it is only the start for commercial drone regulation, and it will work with departments and companies to fine tune the rules and regulations over the next few months.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.