With numerous industriesthe U.S. Federal Aviation Administration draft rules on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), the FAA just gave out its first commercial drone permits to two companies.
BP and UAS manufacturer AeroVironment received permission from the FAA to use an UAS for a commercial land operation. BP will use the UAS in order to survey pipelines, roads, and equipment at the largest oilfield in the U.S., in Alaska.
According to the FAA, the BP will use the AeroVironment Puma AE, a small hand-launched UAS, "to target maintenance activities on specific roads and infrastructure, which will save time and support safety and operational reliability goals, while helping to protect the sensitive North Slope environment."
"These surveys on Alaska's North Slope are another important step toward broader commercial use of unmanned aircraft," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release. "The technology is quickly changing, and the opportunities are growing."
Photo: Flickr/Don McCullough
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