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The Federal Aviation Administration has not been kind to businesses hoping to legally operate drones, but it is slowly allowing their use by select organizations. The newest OK went to CNN, which will help the FAA set a framework for drone use in newsgathering.
CNN was likely selected because it already has a drone program in place. It has been working with the Georgia Institute of Technology since June to explore the types of aerial filming that work for newsrooms, plus the safety challenges that arise.
CNN will test multiple professional-grade drones for the FAA. The administration will consider setting a range of rules for different drones.
CNN is the first news organization to receive the special go-ahead to fly drones. The FAA issued the first waiver in June to BP, and has since approved a handful of other organizations. The administration has a bumpy road ahead as it works through a series of lawsuits and public outcry over what entrepreneurs and hobbyists view as stiflingly strict rules.