US approves drone flights for insurer AIG

  • AFP, New York
  • Updated: Apr 09, 2015 10:56 IST

Insurance giant American International Group Wednesday announced that it had won US government approval to use drones to survey disaster areas, including territory that may be otherwise inaccessible.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted AIG the ability to use small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to conduct inspections, the insurer said in a statement.

Drones "can help accelerate surveys of disaster areas with high-resolution images for faster claims handling, risk assessment, and payments," AIG said.

The technology also allows a view on areas "that could be dangerous or inaccessible for manual inspection," AIG added.

The US aviation agency also permitted AIG to undertake further research to study additional uses of drones. AIG noted that it already has an international research and development program and conducted flights in New Zealand.

The FAA's approval for AIG follows its green light in March for online retailer Amazon to test its drone program.

Amazon, which hopes to develop a delivery system that could dispatch small packages in less than 30 minutes, has criticized US officials for being slow to adopt rules for drone use compared with officials in other countries.

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