Commercial drones take off around the globe, but are grounded in the US for now by government

By , on March 16, 2014


 

Group photo of aerial demonstrators at the 2005 Naval Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Air Demo, also known as drones. (Wikipedia photo)
Group photo of aerial demonstrators at the 2005 Naval Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Air Demo, also known as drones. (Wikipedia photo)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government bars commercial use of drones, no matter how seemingly benign.

But already, photographers, real estate agents, moviemakers and others are hurrying to embrace the technology.

The use of commercial drones is starting to spread to countries where authorities have decided the aircraft presents little threat if operators follow a few safety rules.

U.S. officials say rules to address the special safety challenges associated with unmanned aircraft need to be in place before they can share the sky with manned aircraft.

But final rules could be years away for small drones, which are defined as those weighing less than 55 pounds.

The drone industry and some lawmakers worry that the United States will be one of the last countries to gain the economic benefits of the technology.