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Judge dismisses FAA fine against small drone user

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed the Federal Aviation Administration's only fine against a commercial drone user on the grounds that the small drone was no different than a model aircraft.

Patrick Geraghty, a National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge, said the FAA has no regulations governing model aircraft flights or for classifying model aircraft as an unmanned aircraft, or drone.

FAA officials had no immediate comment.

The small drone was being flown near the University of Virginia to make a commercial video.

FAA officials have said the agency regulates access to the national airspace, and therefore the agency has the power to bar drone flights, even by those that sometimes weigh no more than a few pounds.

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