So far commercial drones have been banned from flying over large numbers of people. But a A federal advisory group laid out plans to change that, reports The Wall Street Journal's Andy Pasztor. (subscription required)

The specifics laid out Wednesday stop short of permitting widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver packages—one of the most promising though controversial potential applications—because they are primarily focused on smaller drones than typically would be used for such proposes. And the proposal still envisions restricting drone flights within sight of a single operator on the ground.

But even if the guidelines aren't accepted don't expect changes any time soon.

It still could take years to implement many of the latest proposals, which were unanimously supported by experts representing more than two dozen companies, industry organizations and pilot groups.

The Federal Aviation Administration isn’t likely to follow up with a formal regulatory proposal until at least the end of the year, according to people familiar with the timetable

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