"The Federal Aviation Administration has granted a contractor for oil company BP the right to fly the first approved commercial drone flights in the United States," reports Keith Laing. The first flight already occurred, in fact, on June 8, 2014.
"Arlington, Va.-based drone manufacturer AeroVironment is planning to use the unmanned aircraft to survey BP oil pipelines in Alaska, the FAA said."
These first flights are a first test of a new era in non-military drone use, "with private companies, such as Amazon, clamoring to use them for deliveries and other tasks."
"Congress has required the FAA to develop a plan for boosting the use of drones in the U.S. by 2015. Between now and then, the FAA is planning to test the interaction between drones and other types of airplanes at six sites across the country."