The Federal Aviation Administration has approved long range drone flight to pilots helping victims from Hurricane Florence.
According to a report by Bloomberg, insurance company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Association, was the first to be granted permission to fly long distance over a populated area.
The FAA approved routine commercial drone operations two years ago, but has since restricted flights to short journeys at low altitudes away from people, all within sight of an operator on the ground.
The reason for this exception to the rule this time is due to the destruction caused by the Hurricane, however, it could mean the agency grants more waivers in the future.
In a statement, Robert Yi, senior vice president of the insurance firm, said: “Drone technology provides us with the capability to quickly deploy over a catastrophe site and assess damage from the air.”
State Farm will use the eBee drone by Parrot SA, a subsidiary of SenseFly, to assess the damage done to the area.