CNN, Georgia Tech To Launch First Ever Initiative To Explore Media’s UAV Use In U.S. Airspace

Beginning this summer, CNN and Georgia Institute of Technology will embark on a joint research initiative to better understand the opportunities unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) present for media organizations, and to explore the access and safety issues that need to be addressed as part of any new regulatory framework. The project team will be staffed by senior members of CNN’s news gathering team and researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

The effort will evaluate the technology, personnel and safety needs to operate effectively in the national air space.  CNN and Georgia Tech Research Institute plan to share their research data with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as it considers regulations that will allow for the safe and effective operation of UAVs by media outlets.

“Our hope is that by working cooperatively to share knowledge, we can accelerate the process for CNN and other media organizations to safely integrate this new technology into their coverage plans,” said David Vigilante, CNN’s Senior Vice President, Legal. “It’s a natural opportunity to work with our neighbors at Georgia Tech, who have experience, expertise and insights into this area.”

“UAVs have a number of applications that benefit society, such as search and rescue, disaster response and agricultural mapping and crop assessment,” said Mike Heiges, Principal Research Engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. “We’re excited to be engaging with CNN to study the newsgathering applications for UAVs and look forward to working with one of the most respected news operations in the world.”

CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.