October 1, 2014 / 7:44 PM / 3 years ago

FAA gets more applications for drone use exemptions

A drone is seen next to a television antenna above the family home of slain U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff in Pinecrest, Florida September 2, 2014.Andrew Innerarity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration has received nearly a dozen new applications to allow commercial use of unmanned aircraft over the past week, and it plans to publish draft rules to allow broader use by the end of the year, the top agency official for the program said on Wednesday.

The agency has received a total of 57 exemption applications and approved six for film and TV production companies last week, leaving 51 pending, Jim Williams, manager of the FAA's office of unmanned aircraft systems integration, said at an industry conference.

That's up from 40 applications that the agency said were pending when it approved last week the first exemptions for commercial use in the continental U.S.

Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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