White House clears small, commercial drones for takeoff

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration has cleared the way for routine commercial use of small drones. The decision comes after years of struggling to write rules that would both protect public safety and free the benefits of a new technology.

The Federal Aviation Administration has created a new category of rules for drones weighing less than 55 pounds. The long-anticipated rules would mean drone operators would be able to fly without special permission.

Currently, they have to apply for a waiver from rules that govern manned aircraft, a process that can be time-consuming and expensive.

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