- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

CNN announced its executives have struck a deal with federal regulators to put drones in the sky for news-gathering purposes — for now on a test basis.

“[We hope the agreement will] safely integrate unmanned news-gathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System,” said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Michael Huerta, Newsmax reported. “Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities.”

Other media groups have called on regulators and congressional members to speed through a plan to allow for drone flights for news-gathering purposes. Regulators worry about the potential for crashes — and activists, lawmakers and privacy groups, about the fears of the sky-high surveillance.

CNN is currently conducting tests at the Georgia Tech Research institute in Atlanta to see how media organizations could conduct their missions in a safe and privacy-protective manner, Newsmax said.

“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 [unmanned aerial vehicles] and camera setups,” said David Vigilante, CNN senior vice president, Newsmax reported.

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