SAN FRANCISCO -- As drones become less expensive and more sophisticated, those who fly them are becoming more adventurous. With its elegant lines and dramatic location, the Golden Gate Bridge has become a favorite destination. Even on a foggy day, a drone pilot can get a clear view.
Denis Mulligan, General Manager of the Golden Gate Bridge, worries about both safety and security. Drones have been flying over, under and through the bridge recently -- one even crashed on the roadway.
Mulligan is pleading for a federal Drone Safety Act to limit where drones can operate.
"We really have no regulatory framework to say, 'You can't do that,' and so it's kind of like the Wild West right now," said Mulligan.
The Federal Aviation Administration is developing rules for the commercial use of drones, but for those flying as a hobby, the only restrictions are to stay below 400 feet and at least five miles away from an airport.
Justin Kuzmanich uses drones in his business, making real estate videos of homes for sale. He worries that heavy regulation could damage a young industry just beginning to show potential.
"When a technology is new, sometimes it's good to let the reins out a little bit," said Kuzmanich.
Bridge workers actually have their own drone that is used for maintenance inspections, but they prefer that visitors stay earthbound until the FAA works out rules for drones.
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