A handful of companies, including film producers, have gotten waivers from the FAA to use drones for commercial purposes. But the filmmakers, for instance, must notify the FAA three days in advance, only film on a closed set and obtain permission from nearby people.
Such restrictions wouldn’t make sense for covering breaking news, said CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante. The network is proposing a different approach, such as regulations similar to those for helicopters, “so it allows us the flexibility to deal with breaking news,” he said.
CNN is testing a range of drone types, from the hobbyist models that many people got for Christmas to powerful pieces of machinery that could carry a glass lens camera and transmit high-definition video, he said. The TV network plans to share its findings with the FAA over the next 12 to 24 months.