CNN first to get FAA waiver to fly drones over crowds

Postado Outubro 19, 2017

President Trump's tiffs with CNN did not stop the network from receiving Federal Aviation Administration approval for new drones that will hover above crowds.

CNN's small device, a Snap drone made by Vantage Robotics, will be allowed in a "diverse range of environments, including operations over open-air assembles (crowds) of people, up to an altitude of 150 feet above ground", the cable news network said in a statement.

The Part 107 waiver the company was granted means CNN will be able to fly a 1.37-pound Vantage Robotics Snap flying camera over crowds and at outdoor news events.

"Vantage created the Snap for the goal of safely capturing aerial video over people", said Vantage Robotics CEO Tobin Fisher in a statement.

The FAA chose CNN as one of three "Pathfinders" in 2015, to establish secure drone use methods in newsgathering in populated areas, according to the news network.

According to TechCrunch, previous regulations allow for drones to fly in closed productions such as film shoots, or inside of buildings and unpopulated areas.

Time Warner Inc.'s CNN and Vantage Robotics spent two years designing and testing the device, Bloomberg reported. CNN's waiver application was based on the "Reasonableness Approach", under which an applicant's ability to operate a UAS safely over people is determined based on "the totality of circumstances", including the operator's safe history of operations, the safety features of the aircraft, and test data demonstrating that the UAS is safe to operate over people. This waiver was first granted to CNN in 2016, for a one-time, tethered drone flight over people, which was likely a strong demonstrable precedent for CNN's legal counsel team of Lisa Ellman and Matt Clark of Hogan Lovells to use.

"We are delighted that the FAA has granted CNN a waiver that has a meaningful and practical application to our newsgathering operations", said Greg Agvent, Senior Director of National Newsgathering Technology and CNN AIR. "We are pleased to have worked with CNN and the FAA in achieving this important step forward for the FAA and the UAS industry", said Lisa Ellman, Chair of Hogan Lovells' Global UAS Practice and Co-Executive Director of Commercial Drone Alliance.