Camera-equipped drones are starting to crop up in more news stories. TVNewser is reporting that the live aerial shots of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library aired during Fox News’ On the Record Tuesday night were shot with a drone.
Greta Van Susteren was at the library to speak with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Fox hired ArrowData, one of several companies that has secured FAA approval to fly drones for electronic news gathering, to provide the aerial views of the building and grounds. ABC7 San Francisco also used ArrowData in its coverage of the demolition of Candlestick park in July.
This isn’t the first time Fox New has used camera equipped drones. For a Labor Day 2014 special on wounded warriors that was taped in Alaska, Fox deployed a camera drone for the aerial shots of fishing boats plying an Alaska lake.
All these drone deployments had to comply with the current restrictions that the FAA has on the use of commercial drones. A camera-equipped drone must be within the line of sight of the operator. The pilot also can’t fly the drone within 500 feet of individuals not involved in the shoot. The Reagan Library overlooks a large tract of uninhabited land, which made it easy for the Fox beauty shoots to comply with the current FAA rules.
While the FAA has loosened some restrictions on commercial drone use, it still requires a formal Section 333 exemption from the agency. The FAA is still a number of months away from formulating final rules for the routine use of drones in U.S. airspace.
In May, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) sided with the nearly two dozen members of the News Media Coalition in opposing a number of the restrictions that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to keep on news gathering drones.
The NAA argued that the FAA should not prohibit drones from flying over people at news events as proposed by the agency in its draft rules for commercial drone use in U.S. airspace.