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Will the Federal Aviation Administration Impose Harsher Drone Regulations?

According to some, the FAA could introduce laws limiting the height and speed at which drones can travel.

(TNS) -- Federal Aviation Administration officials could announce new rules governing the commercial use of small drone aircraft within the next few weeks, a senior advisor with the administration said Friday during a visit to Pittsburgh.

The rules, currently in draft form, will apply to unmanned aircraft that weigh less than 55 pounds, said Marke “Hoot” Gibson, FAA senior advisor on unmanned aircraft systems integration.

Final rules could include provisions that would limit drone use to during the day, below an altitude of 500 feet and to speeds of 100 mph or slower.

Gibson discussed the rules during a seminar about unmanned aircraft advances, commercial opportunities and challenges facing the new technology hosted Downtown by international law firm K&L Gates and the Consumer Technology Association.

Gibson called the advent of unmanned aircraft technology “the most fundamental change in aviation in our lifetime.”

“We haven't seen this kind of thing since Orville and Wilbur (Wright) in terms of impact,” Gibson said.

FAA, starting in December, required drone owners to register with the federal government.

As of now the FAA does not provide formal rules for commercial drone use.

Private owners and companies that want to operate unmanned aircraft for non-recreational uses must obtain special FAA permission.

©2016 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.