Pendleton drone field approved to fly at new heights

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) _ People looking to fly drones higher than ever will now be able to do so at a Pendleton range.

The East Oregonian reports ( ) that the Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range announced Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved them to fly large drones as high as 9,999 feet.

Previously the FAA had announced that commercial drones had to weigh less than 55 pounds and fly under 400 feet. Now drones of all sizes can fly high across the 14,000 square miles of the drone range.

The Pendleton UAS Range was approved by the FAA in late 2013 and has since attracted a small stable of clients, including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who test unmanned aircraft there.