Feds: New York utility can't use drones for power line inspections without agency's permission

Associated Press

The federal government says a New York utility must seek permission before it implements plans to use drones to help inspect power lines and perform other tasks.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration tells the Poughkeepsie Journal (http://pojonews.co/1u56mtH ) that Central Hudson Gas & Electric's use of drones without permission would violate federal regulations.

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The Poughkeepsie-based utility had announced in the fall edition of its quarterly newsletter that it's considering using small, remote-controlled aircraft to help with power line inspections when poles or wires are damaged by storms.

The company said the drones have the potential to substantially reduce costs and delays.

But an FAA official says Central Hudson must apply for an exemption under current agency rules that prohibit commercial use of small, unmanned aircraft.


Information from: Poughkeepsie Journal, http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com