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The Interior Department has grounded its fleet of more than 800 drones, citing potential cybersecurity risks and the need to support U.S. drone production – suggesting the move is aimed at least in part at China, a leading drone producer.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order on Wednesday grounding the drones, formalizing a "pause" he ordered nearly three months ago.

Drones have become an increasingly popular tool for industry and government.

Electric utilities use them to inspect transmission lines. Oil companies fly them over pipelines. The Interior Department even deployed them to track lava flows at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

But the Department of Homeland Security is warning that drones manufactured by Chinese companies could pose security risks, including that the data they gather could be stolen.

Package delivery by drone is one small step closer to reality today.

Federal regulators announced plans Monday to change rules to allow drone operators to fly their unmanned aerial vehicles over populated areas and at night, without having to get special permits.

Many drone operators and enthusiasts complain that federal regulations haven't kept pace with the technology, arguing that prohibitions on flying drones over people and at night are out of date.

The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to launch a study of drones as a way to monitor traffic. 

Sinclair, OSU Teaming Up On Drone Technology

Jul 8, 2014

Sinclair Community College in Dayton is joining forces with Ohio State University's engineering school to research and develop new drone technologies.

Ohio Loses Out On FAA Drone Testing Site

Dec 30, 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration has rejected Ohio and Indiana's joint bid to become one of the agency's six drone test sites.