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Drones Are Hot Item in VegasBy Mike Cavender, RTDNA
RTDNA presses FAA for rules decision
(AUSTIN) - Every year at the NAB convention in Las Vegas, there are hot technology items that seem to attract everybody’s attention—and this April, it’s the year of the drones!
It was hard to get near the demos at exhibitor’s booths, as these unmanned craft were flown up and around cages that had been set up. The pictures displayed on the hi-def monitors were truly amazing and it was so clear the time has come for us to be allowed to use drones to gather news! A growing number of European regulators can see that, so why can’t the FAA?
There are so many benefits to using small unmanned aircraft systems. The inexpensive cost of purchase and operation, the flexibility to go places larger aircraft cannot and, of course, the most important benefit of all—the safety of newsgathering personnel.
Your RTDNA continues in the forefront of fighting for your right to use drones, as evidenced by our latest effort: RTDNA is among 33 signatories to an appeal to the FAA to expedite the rule-making process and even to allow for some limited commercial use of drones before any rules are finalized. And there are other behind-the-scenes efforts toward this goal in Washington now, as networks and group broadcasters show increasing interest in the technology.
We understand and support the need for the FAA to establish safety standards and operating parameters. But we shouldn’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Much like the FCC needs to develop a media regulatory plan that reflects 21st century convergence, the FAA needs to understand we are no longer constrained by traditional means of commercial flight. The agency should move forward with speed and determination to allow broadcasters and others to make use of this new technology because it will benefit everyone—especially the audiences we serve.
By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director
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