(AP) The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it has granted the first permission for commercial drone flights over land, the latest effort by the agency to show it is loosening restrictions on commercial uses of the unmanned aircraft.
Drone maker AeroVironment of Monrovia, California, and BP energy corporation have been given permission to use a Puma drone to survey pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, the agency said. The first flight took place on Sunday.
Made by AeroVironment, the Puma is a small, hand-launched craft about 4 1/2 feet long and with a 9-foot wingspan. It was initially designed for military use.