U.S. to permit commercial drone flights by movie makers: source

(Reuters) - The U.S. government has plans to permit seven movie and television companies to use commercial drone flights for filming inside closed sets as early as Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The companies that might get permission include Flying-Cam Inc, which has used drones to film sequences overseas for Bond films such as "Skyfall" and "Quantum of Solace," the source told Reuters. Other companies likely to receive approval are HeliVideo Productions LLC, Aerial MOB LLC, Pictorvision Inc, RC Pro Productions Consulting LLC, Astraeus Aerial and Snaproll Media LLC. The decision is expected to be announced by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, the source said. In 2012, Congress required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish a road map for the broader use of drones. The FAA has allowed limited use of drones in the United States for surveillance, law enforcement, atmospheric research and other applications. In 2013, the U.S. government created six sites for companies, universities and others to test drones for broader commercial use in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. In August, Google Inc said it was developing airborne drones capable of flying on their own and delivering anything from candy to medicine. Google rival Amazon.com Inc announced plans last year to use aerial delivery drones for a service called "Prime Air." (Reporting by Krishna Chaithanya, Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore, Alwyn Scott in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon and Ken Wills)