Will FAA let drones fly out of sight? Stay tuned

PrecisionHawk Lancaster drone
PrecisionHawk is using its Lancaster drone to investigate the options for letting unmanned air vehicles fly beyond the view of their operators. (Credit: PrecisionHawk)

Should commercial operators be able to fly their drones beyond their line of sight? The question is a big deal for Amazon as well as Walmart, Google and other companies that want to use robotic air vehicles to deliver goods to consumers – but the Federal Aviation Administration needs convincing.

Now the FAA is trying to nail down an answer, thanks to a series of field tests known as Project Pathfinder.

Project Pathfinder is actually a quartet of test programs, aimed at determining the safety of extended drone operations in four scenarios.

Find out about the programs on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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