The European Commission wants to make it easier for lightweight drones to fly autonomously in European airspace — with logistics, inspection services and agricultural businesses set to benefit.

Last Friday, the Commission unveiled a plan to improve the safety of drones flying at low altitude.

It wants to introduce a consistent set of rules across the EU for flying drones in “U-space,” its name for regulated airspace under 150 meters in altitude.

Simpler regulations will be welcomed by multinational businesses such as gas giant Engie, which is developing drones for tasks such as pipeline or building inspection or for cleaning the insulators on high-voltage overhead power lines.

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EU wants to ease commercial drone use with future flight rules