Businesses can apply for a waiver of most of the operational restrictions as long as they can prove their proposal will be safe.
The FAA has already approved 76 such waivers, most of which involve commercial operations at night, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told reporters Monday.
The new set of rules “just standardizes the exemption process and lowers the barrier to entry,” said Arthur Holland Michel, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College.
But, he said, the new waiver process will probably help regulators understand how companies want to use drones beyond these initial, limited regulations. That could one day lead to rules for more complex drone operations, such as those proposed by Amazon or Google.