The Alaskan oil-field drone is the first of what is likely to be a steady stream of approvals for commercial UAVs in thinly populated regions nationwide.BP, the international oil and energy giant, will now routinely use drones to patrol their Alaskan oil fields. This morning, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that BP and unmanned aircraft manufacturer AeroVironment received permission to use drones for flyovers of the Prudhoe Bay oil field. AeroVironment’s primary product, a four-foot-long vehicle called the Puma, resembles an overgrown model aircraft and contains sophisticated electro-optical and infrared sensors for ground surveillance.Read Full Story

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FAA OKs commercial drone flights over land

Associated Press – 10 June 2014 15:20-04:00

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded permission for the first commercial drone over land to BP, of all companies. The oil company’s partner, drone manufacturer AeroVironment, flew its first commercial flight in Alaska on Sunday. And it didn’t just send a dinky quadcopter to do the job either.Read more.

View original article at Gizmodo

The drone the FAA just approved is mainly used by the military. Image: US NavyThe first government-approved commercial drone flight (over land) took place Sunday. This is a big, huge deal that signifies the dawn of a new era—if you own an international oil conglomerate or otherwise have access to military-grade technology and have an interest in flying it, quite literally, over one of the most remote places on Earth.Otherwise, the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration approved a drone to monitor BP’s pipelines, roads, and drilling equipment, is a blip on the map, something barely worth noting, literally the least the FAA could legally do (as mandated by Congress), and the lowest-risk move it could have possibly made.It’s a step in the right direction, sure, and it’s better than the FAA not approving the drone, but AeroVironment’s oil-monitoring drone is not for you and me, it’s not even for most large businesses, and the permission it got from the FAA really means very, very little

View original article at Motherboard

FAA OKs commercial drone flights over land

Associated Press – 10 June 2014 10:08-04:00

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

View original article at Associated Press