Moving Domestic Drone Policy Forward: Legislative Proposal Would Assist Energy Companies in their Drone Operations

The commercial drone industry continues to face regulatory challenges as companies strive to use drones to make their operations safer and more efficient. In a positive development this week, there is now hope that Congress may ease some of these regulatory challenges for natural gas and oil pipelines and other critical infrastructure owners and operators. The UAVs for Energy Infrastructure Act (S.2684), sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe and introduced on March 15, 2016, would allow critical infrastructure operators to use drones to conduct any activity already allowed to be accomplished with manned aircraft. Senator Inhofe plans to include the bill in the FAA authorization legislation.

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