CNN and the Federal Aviation Administration have signed an agreement to integrate drones into news gathering and reporting, the two organizations announced Monday.
The agreement will provide the FAA with existing research CNN and partner Georgia Tech Research Institute have compiled on best practices for integrating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UVAs), which are remote-controlled planes.
The government agency will use the data and research collected to create a framework for guidelines on how to safely incorporate UVAs into newsgathering operations.
"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. "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.”
CNN has led the coverage charge among all media platforms in aviation coverage over the last year. In 2014, the network drew criticism for its near-nonstop coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
"Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” said 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."