The Federal Aviation Administration got involved with Major League Baseball affairs when it slapped the Washington Nationals on the wrist for using unmanned drones during spring training in February.
The Nationals used a small four-rotor drone to take publicity photos last month, but no one thought to get the FAA’s permission first.
“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either, and those go higher than this thing did,” an unnamed team official told The Associated Press.
The agency bans the commercial use of drones, the lone exception being an oil company that is allowed to fly drones over the Arctic Ocean, according to the AP. FAA officials say rules to address safety challenges associated with unmanned aircraft need to be set up before they can share the sky with manned aircraft.
The FAA allows hobbyists to fly model aircraft that are not technically much different than small drones, but even in those cases, the agency has specific guidelines for amateurs. The rules include staying away from airports, flying no higher than 400 feet and staying within the line of sight of the operator.
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