New commercial drone rule takes effect

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August 16, 2016 - Cartersville - Will Lovett, Managing Director of Unmanned Systems at Phoenix Air, in the new drone facility. Phoenix Air in Cartersville gave a tour of its "Ebola plane", a Gulfstream III with an Aeromedical Biological Containment System ( ABCS ), which more recently has been used to transport Lassa fever patients. It also showed it's Containerized Biological Containment System (CBCS), which can handle more patients, during a visit by Sen. David Perdue. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Long-awaited federal drone regulations took effect Monday, making it easier for businesses to use drones for commercial purposes and driving potential growth of Georgia’s drone industry.

The new Federal Aviation Administration rule allows drones to legally be used for commercial purposes without going through a special approval process, if the drones are operated by a certified remote pilot in compliance with safety requirements. The rule does not apply to recreational users.

Amy Hudnall, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace said in a written statement that the new rule “will allow for the development of many new business applications for drones, as more people find new ways to use these tools…. I’m sure we’ll see some creative new applications as a result.”

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Will Lovett, managing director of unmanned systems at Phoenix Air, in the company’s new drone facility. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Under the rule, known as Part 107, FAA-approved testing centers can now start administering aeronautical knowledge tests required for drone operators.

Read more about the new drone rule on MyAJC.

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