http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcne ... y-company/ The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) limited permission to use drones in parts of San Diego County. SDG&E is a Sempra Energy utility, and is the first utility in the nation to be granted FAA approval for the technology. The FAA granted the company an experimental certificate, also known as a Special Airworthiness Certificate for a small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). That certificate specifically allows SDG&E to use drones for research, testing and training flights in sparsely populated airspace in Eastern San Diego County. Current FAA regulations restrict the use of drones to hobbyist flights, and a limited number of commercially approved flights in the arctic. A Special Airworthiness Certificate is the only certification means available for civil (non-government) operators to use drones. Since July 2005, the FAA has issued 94 certificates, to 13 civil operators covering 20 unique types of drones.