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Federal regulators give students green light to fly drones

The Federal Aviation Administration clarified its regulations Wednesday to allow students and their teachers to operate drones without government authorization.


The FAA clarified its rules Wednesday, paving the way for students to get easier access to drones.


The Federal Aviation Administration is making it easier for students to fly drones.

A memorandum released by the agency on Wednesday states that students will no longer need a Section 333 exemption or any other authorization to operate drones, so long as they follow the government's rules for using model aircraft. Faculty will also be allowed to use drones to help students with their coursework.

Drones, which are typically camera-equipped quadcopters, have become a new consumer and business phenomenon for those interested in remote-controlled vehicles, aerial photography and even aerial racing. As the aircraft have grown in popularity over the last several years, though, drones have become a concern for the government agency responsible for regulating the nation's airspace.

The FAA has been cracking down on the illegal use of drones. In December the agency announced it would begin requiring US residents to register hobbyist drones at its drone registration website. The FAA charges $5 for registration.