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If you’re itching for a drone’s eye view of the world — or even just of your wedding — you might want to get your hands on one sooner rather than later. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be announcing proposed regulations on the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the end of the year. As reported by the Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall), the new drone rules will make it mighty hard for anyone but a licensed pilot to fly a UAV for package delivery or any other commercial use. The regulations, meant to ensure safe use, especially in commercial airspace and crowded urban areas, will also include line-of-sight and altitude restrictions.

The FAA has been issuing waivers in certain cases, including search-and-rescue, but what about civilian uses like surf photography, real estate tours, and the aforementioned wedding flyover? While the administration’s proposals are expected to cover under-55-pound “toy drones” like the smaller Phantom camera quadcopters, it’s not yet clear whether they will apply to non-commercial flights. And flyers take note: the proposals have to go through a period of public commentary, which means they’re not likely to take effect for at least another year. Via Engadget

Do the restrictions sound too brutal to you? Not brutal enough? Let us know what you think.

“A Weekend with a Drone” courtesy of Alex Widmer

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