CNN announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) with the Federal Aviation Administration to advance efforts to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into newsgathering and reporting.
“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 CNN senior vice president David Vigilante in a press release. “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 US airspace.”
“Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” added FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “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.”
CNN said the cooperation arrangement will integrate efforts from CNN’s existing research partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), adding that the FAA will use data collected to formulate a framework for various types of UAVs to be safely integrated into newsgathering operations.
Brian Resnick at National Journal commented, “The development is significant because currently the FAA does not allow Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for commercial use, save for a few exceptions for the entertainment industry and agriculture. This loosening of the rules could pave the way not just for aerial news-gathering but also for Amazon’s proposed air delivery service.”