CNN gets permission to use drones in the US

CNN has been granted permission to test Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for news gathering purposes.

The Federal Aviation Administration will monitor the use of drones over the next 12-24 months and is expected to create a set of regulations based on feedback from the trials.

"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 UAVs and camera setups," said CNN SVP, David Vigilante.

"Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the US airspace."

Amazon was previously denied permission by the FAA to test drone deliveries in the US because it was for a "commercial purpose".

The online retailer said it will look into testing deliveries in other countries but - even if successful - it could be years before such flights are allowed.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates the use of drones in the UK and under its current regulations small 20kg drones cannot be used for delivery purposes.

Article 166

- A person shall not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.

- The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.

- The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.

- The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7 kg excluding its fuel but including any articles installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly such an aircraft.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.