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FAA proposes $1.9 million fine on drone photographic company

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WASHINGTON, DC — The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a proposal to fine a company $1.9 million for drone flights for photography over congested areas. The FAA says it’s the largest fine proposed against an operator of what are called unmanned aircraft systems to date.

Chicago-based SkyPan International is accused of “endangering the safety of our airspace,” said an FAA release. The agency says the company conducted 65 unauthorized flights over New York City and Chicago between 2012 and 2014, some 43 of them in “highly restricted” airspace.

The company calls the vehicles it uses as “remote piloted vehicles.”

The FAA listed several ways in which the drones were not certified as airworthy and were not equipped with required equipment. The agency called the company’s actions “careless and reckless.”

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