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By Dan Hounsell July 26, 2016 -
Maintenance & Operations ✉ Email The Editor
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently finalized long-awaited rules for small unmanned aircraft — commonly known as drones — that take effect in August.
The advent of drones has seen a stable increase of followers and hobbyists, and the government sees an economic potential that might very well open a new network for the industry. The administration estimates that the drone industry could generate more than $82 billion in the next decade.
Drones have revolutionized the way users see the world through their capabilities in photography. The technology can also be applied in daily life-threatening situations, such as checking railroad tracks and inspecting communication towers and facilities, as well as unfortunate states of calamities where utmost safety is required.
Commercially, drones can act as carriers for companies to further boost delivery systems. Known companies who have been pushing for drone regulations include Amazon and Alphabet's Google, with both companies stating plans to have the drone delivery feature roll out in the near future.
Under the rules, the maximum speed for drones it 100 miles per hour, and 400 feet is the maximum altitude a drone can reach, whereas areas beyond 400 feet above ground must have the drone flying within a 400-foot range around the structure. Drones can only be flown in daylight and "civil twilight" — 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset — and should not pass over people or under a covered structure.
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This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about the challenges of drone use around institutional and commercial facilities at https://www.facilitiesnet.com16438FMD.