FAA Joins With CNN, BNSF to Study Drone Flights

BN-IH116_0506fa_J_20150506152518The Federal Aviation Administration is joining with companies including CNN and BNSF Railway Co. to study how to allow drone flights in urban areas and beyond the sight of the devices’ operators, the agency said on Wednesday, in a sign of greater openness to commercial use of drones.

The FAA said the initiative is intended to give the agency data on how to allow more sophisticated operations that the commercial drone industry has been clamoring for.

Under the project, Time Warner Inc. unit CNN will use drones to film in urban areas, BNSF will use them to fly hundreds of miles to inspect its railroads, and drone-maker PrecisionHawk Inc. will fly them beyond sight of the operator to collect data on crops.

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