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Routine commercial use of small drones got a green light from the Obama administration June 21, 2016, after years of struggling to write regulations that would both protect public safety and unleash the economic potential and societal benefits of the new technology. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Bloomberg) – The Obama administration is opening U.S. skies to more commercial drones with long-awaited regulations that the government hopes will spawn new industries for inspecting bridges, monitoring crops and taking aerial photography.

In the most comprehensive set of rules yet for the burgeoning unmanned aircraft industry, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday went far beyond its original restrictive proposal issued last year. Drone operators will be able to petition the agency to fly beyond the horizon, at night and over people if they can show such flights are safe.

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