CNN receives FAA approval for UAS use

By Emily Aasand | January 21, 2015

CNN will soon be integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into newsgathering and reporting after recently entering into a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The agreement integrates CNN’s existing research partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The FAA will use data collected from this initiative to formulate a framework for various types of UAVs to be safely integrated into newsgathering operations, CNN said.

“Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups,” said David Vigilante, senior vice president of CNN. “Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the U.S. airspace.”

A CRDA is an agreement that commemorates the collaborative partnership between the federal laboratory or agency and academia, local and state governments and private entities. According to the FAA, these agreements provide agencies with a means to offer intellectual property rights and other federal resources that would otherwise not be available to a collaborating partner.

“Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” said Michael Huerta, FAA administrator. “We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”


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