CNN gets a waiver for a newsgathering drone, DJI offers an electronic license plate for drones and will quiz pilots before first flight, more on the Drone Integration Pilot Program, and drone regulations in India.
CNN received a Part 107 waiver from the FAA to fly the Vantage Robotics Snap over people as a newsgathering drone at altitudes of up to 150 feet AGL. The FAA accepted CNN’s “Reasonableness Approach” that considered the potential results of a crashed drone, the safe operating history of CNN, CNN’s safety procedures, and the features of the drone itself.
The 500-gram Snap shoots 4K video, streams 720p video, has a micro-gimbal, and has electronic image stabilization. The drone is frangible with enclosed rotors made of deformable material.
CNN and Vantage worked on the program for over two years. CNN was represented by Lisa Ellman and Matt Clark of Hogan Lovells in the waiver application process.
Before first flight, DJI pilots will be presented with nine questions by the GO 4 flight app. Nine correct answers are required but they cycle so if you get some wrong, you keep trying until you get nine right. This knowledge quiz was developed in collaboration with the FAA and will initially launch in the US. Other countries will come later.
An AeroScope receiver can monitor transmissions between the drone and the controller. That includes data such as location, altitude, speed, direction, takeoff location, operator location, and an identifier such as a registration or serial number. Used around sensitive areas to identify rogue drones, AeroScope been called an “electronic license plate for drones.”
Rupprecht Law provides a good summary of the Drone Integration Pilot Program we talked about in episode 216. Rupprecht offers some pros and cons of the Program as well as some questions that remain unanswered.This is intended to be a living document from Rupprecht as program aspects become clear.
Ten things you should know about the new UAS Integration Pilot Program.
The FAA published a webpage with these sections: Learn About the Program, How to Apply, and Help & Resources. In addition, a UAS Integration Pilot Program Webinar will be held to “…provide you with an overview of the UAS Integration Pilot Program, the application process, and specific criteria and deadlines that are required in order to be accepted into the program.”
The Ministry of Civil Aviation announced draft regulations for India. A one-month comment period will precede the finalized rules. Five drones categories are established based on maximum take-off weight: nano (up to 250 gm), micro (251 gm to 2 kg), mini (2 kg to 25 kg), small (25 kg to 150 kg), and large (over 150 kg).
No registration is required for nano drones. Micro drones and up require registration with a Unique Identification Number. Mini drones and up require training and an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit. A different approval is required for each operation of the drone. Certain no-fly zones are established.