One of the leading proponents for unmanned aerial vehicle use is applauding the Federal Aviation Administration’s summary grant process.

Following the FAA’s update Thursday on the Section 333 exemption process that benefits many commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) called it “a step in the right direction that cuts through the red tape while making it easier for operators to fly UAS.”

“For months,” said Brian Wynne, president and chief executive officer, “AUVSI has advocated for a more streamlined process for Section 333 exemptions that will help more industries realize the benefits of UAS technology. We applaud the agency for lifting unnecessary restrictions and enabling more commercial uses of the technology in a safe and responsible manner.”

According to the FAA, “summary grants are far more efficient because they don’t need to repeat the analysis performed for the original exemption on which they are based.” Since it began accepting Section 333 exemption requests in May 2014, the agency has received more than 900 applications in large part for surveying, mapping and geospatial use, but only approved 128 to date.

The world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics, AUVSI represents more than 7,500 members from 60-plus allied countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.