July 1, 2015

Policy Minute: Drone Testing Program Takes Flight, Journalists at Controls

Drone Practice Team member Joel Roberson discusses the new hands-on drone testing program for members of the media and the potential implications of proceeding with the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for news gathering purposes.

These flight tests are the first in a series of controlled testing of real-life scenarios to simulate news events that the media can safely report on using small UAS technology. The news media coalition's research and testing occurs in partnership with Virginia Tech, one of the Federal Aviation Administration's designated test sites for drone research. Following these initial test, a report will be presented to the FAA establishing appropriate safety procedures to support Section 333 applications and inform the final UAS rulemaking to ensure reporters and photographers can operate UAS for news gathering.

News media coalition members: American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.; Advance Publications, Inc.; A. H. Belo Corporation; The Associated Press; Capitol Broadcasting Co.; The E.W. Scripps Company; Fusion; Gannett Co., Inc.; Getty Images (US), Inc.; NBCUniversal; The New York Times Company; Reuters; Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.; Univision; and The Washington Post. The coalition consulted closely with the National Press Photographers Association in developing realistic testing protocols for these research flights.

Duration: 2:30

Related Insights