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Local Drone Company Wins Approval To Use Vehicles For News

news_drone.jpg

Drone
ArrowData

A local company has received permission to use their drones for news gathering.

The Las Vegas-based company ArrowData is looking to change the way we gather news.

ArrowData, which manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles – otherwise known as drones – received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration last week to use their drones for news gathering purposes.

They say they're the first company in the country to get approval for this.

So, what exactly do they envision for their drones?

And is this a way to increase public support for the use of drones?

"We don't know yet how they're going to be used in real-world applications because we haven't seen," ArrowData spokesperson Ron Futrell told KNPR's State of Nevada.

Futrell said he envisions TV stations using the drones to get video of breaking news like house fires, or traffic accidents. He also believes they could be used to get the kind of video not easily obtained from the ground.

8 News NOW News Director Ron Comings agrees. 

"This gives us the opportunity to see what is not available from the ground," Comings told KNPR's State of Nevada. 

He said like helicopters, which are used by TV stations around the country, drones will give news crews video they can't get.

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Comings also said people should not be concerned about TV stations violating privacy. 

"Every news organization is governed by their own ethics. Their own integrity as far as privacy," he said.

He pointed out that helicopters have the same ability to violate privacy, but don't. He said state and federal laws along with a station's ethics protect people. 

The biggest obstacle currently might be the requirements. Right now, drones must stay in line of sight of operators and those operators must be licensed pilots. 

Cost could also be a factor depending on the type of equipment and size of drone.

Guests

Ron Futrell, ArrowData; Ron Comings, news director, 8 News NOW

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