The federal government is officially opening America’s skies to drones.



FAA rules for the commercial use of drones go into effect Monday.

Interested drone pilots must pass an aeronautical exam before they are allowed to fly. The first exam will be available at 8 a.m. Monday morning, which 3,351 people have signed up to take. The exam has generated “great excitement” from a wide range of industries around the country, according to Mark Dennehy, president of Computer Assisted Testing Service, which administers the test.

Drones are appealing because they provide aerial photos and video at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. Potential uses include crop monitoring, construction site management, search and rescue, surveying, film-making and firefighting.

The current rules include limitations that will hamper the arrival of some drone services, such as autonomous delivery. So don’t expect companies to be dropping packages in your backyard anytime soon.

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