Global news network CNN is taking part in a drone experiment, under the auspices of the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, as it seeks to use the unmanned aircraft for newsgathering.
If the research trial is a success, it could bring the regulated use of drones in populated urban areas a step closer to reality in the US. The trial will see the news network use drones within sight of the operator in populated areas. As well as gathering file footage for use in reports, the drones could be deployed to broadcast live footage. Potential usage includes covering live events or providing access to potentially dangerous situations such as natural disasters, riots, and war zones.
Other commercial experiments currently running include Amazon and its quest to use drones for delivery, while BNSF Railway, which operates more than 390 rail lines in the US, is trialing the use of drones ‘beyond sight’ in rural and isolated areas. Monitoring track safety could be a crucial use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the future, including in the Middle East, as the GCC-wide rail network develops.
The FAA in the United States banned the use of drones for commercial purposes in 2007.