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TIN news:   The US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finalised the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), also known as drones.
These new regulations introduced by the FAA will not only help drones fully integrate into the US airspace, but will also harness new innovations, create new job opportunities, and advance critical scientific research, as well as ensure safety of lives.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief.
"We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world."
"The potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief."
Slated to take effect in August this year, the new FAA-introduced regulations are expected to generate over $82bn for the country's economy and create more than 100,000 new job opportunities over the coming ten years.
The rule, which has been designed to reduce risks caused to other airplanes, people and property by the UAS, offers safety regulations for drones that weigh less than 55lb and are conducting non-hobbyist operations.
Under the regulations, the pilots need to keep an UAS within visual line of sight, while operations are allowed during daylight and during twilight only if the drone has anti-collision lights.
Besides introducing height and speed restrictions, FAA has also included certain operational limits, such as prohibiting a drone from flying over unprotected people on the ground who aren't directly participating in the UAS operation.
FAA administrator Michael Huerta said: "With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA's mission to protect public safety.
"But this is just our first step. We're already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations."
The final rule states that the person flying a drone must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or needs to be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate.
The UAS operators need to ensure the safety of a drone before flying by performing a preflight visual and operational check of the small UAS.

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