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Drone technology way ahead of FAA as it tries to set rules for use

Molly McMillin

When it comes to unmanned aerial vehicles, it’s starting to become the Wild West out there.

Drones are flying across the U.S. and being used by researchers, farmers, amateur photographers and others.

But if they’re used for commercial purposes, it’s illegal – at least in the view of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Technology has advanced quickly – much faster than the regulations that government officials say are needed to ensure safety.

So as Americans try out drones to deliver beer, photograph university campuses and scout out accident scenes, federal officials have ordered them to stop.

The FAA says it’s illegal to operate a drone for business or commercial purposes, no matter how seemingly benign.

“But that’s not stopping people,” said Ladd Sanger, a Dallas-based aviation lawyer and a managing partner with Slack & Davis. “We’re seeing a lot of people violating the FAA regulation.”

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Molly McMillin
Wichita Eagle