Speed Reads

This just in

Oil giant BP scores first commercial drone flight over U.S. land

Today, the Federal Aviation Authority announced that it had granted rights to oil titan BP for the first drone flight for commercial use over U.S. land.

BP and drone manufacturer AeroVironment were given permission to use unmanned drones to survey BP's pipelines, roads, and equipment in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, home of the country's largest oil field. The first flight from the lightweight Puma drone was conducted Sunday. The gas giant said the unmanned aircraft will be used to "improve safety and increase reliability" of its maintenance activities.

"These surveys on Alaska's North Slope are another important step toward broader commercial use of unmanned aircraft," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who works with the FAA. "The technology is quickly changing, and the opportunities are growing."