For all of the flack that they’ve had thrown their way over the past few weeks—especially towards DJI—drones have flown itself back into the good graces of the public and U.S. government, all thanks to the post-Hurricane Harvey relief efforts that are underway in Houston.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Federal Aviation Administration has issues more than 100 separate authorizations for emergency drone activities in and around flood-ravaged Houston. Specific use cases cited in the applications have included everything from inspecting roadways, to checking railroad tracks, monitoring the conditions of water plants, power line inspections, and more.
And, not only are the approvals being granted, but the FAA is running through them at what some people familiar with the process called a record fast pace—like, in a number of hours rather than the standard days or weeks. Industry groups, including the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, said the efforts will likely boost momentum for a longer-term solution that results in more open airspace for commercial drone applications.