Up in the Air – It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s your Amazon Order!

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued new rules on drones.

Operators are now allowed to fly over people and vehicles, and in some instances can fly at night. Russell Kutch is president of I-Sky Commercial Drone Services in Houston and says while some people find them intimidating, the fault has been with the drone industry for not better educating the public about what will soon go mainstream. “These things are more than toys, more than a nuisance. They can be very helpful in many aspects of life.” He uses them to survey construction sites, real estate and provide detail for mapping.

Many big corporations, Amazon and Google size, have already invested heavily in the future of the commercial drone industry.The new rules permit delivery of packages under 5 pounds that are delivered in 30 days or less. To fly at night they have to be equipped with anti-collision lighting. They’ll be required by FAA to broadcast a remote ID, location and take off information. “Amazon has been building buildings around Houston in strategic locations to service neighborhoods within a certain proximity to the warehouse,” says Kutach. Look for them to be frequent in about 18 months.

An enterprising entrepreneurial company in in Chicago has begun building drone-delivery-capable mailboxes.

photo: Getty Images

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