The next frontier for drones: Letting them fly out of sight
REMINGTON, Va. (AP) — For years, there’s been a cardinal rule for flying civilian drones: Keep them within your line of sight. But that’s starting to change as aviation authorities prepare to cautiously relax some of the safeguards they imposed to regulate a boom in off-the-shelf consumer drones.
Drones can now soar out of their pilots’ sight to inspect power lines across the forested Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia. They’re tracking endangered sea turtles off Florida’s coast and monitoring seaports and railroads in the U.S. and Europe.
Businesses want smoother rules that could open your neighborhood’s skies to new commercial uses, but privacy advocates and some private pilots have concerns.