The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released highly-anticipated regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called drones. The final rule, which is effective August 29, 2016, regulates drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting non-hobbyist operations.
Google is aiming to launch a commercial drone delivery service in 2017. Reuters reports that David Vos, who head’s Google’s Project Wing and co-chairs a drone registry task force for the Federal Aviation Administration, announced Google’s plans at an air traffic control convention in Washington last week. He said the FAA is discussing setting up an air traffic control system that would use cellular and internet technology to manage unmanned aerial vehicles (a.ka. drones) flying at altitudes lower than 500 feet. Amazon proposed a similar system in July.
Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia were selected as locations to develop test sites for drones. These states were selected due to their climate, geography and air traffic environments.