Drones are at the top of my mind with the story published Thursday on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the reaction to it on the part of some in the news media.
As with most stories I write, there were tidbits of useful information that didn’t make it into the final feature article.
This time, the nugget left out came from Thomas Meyer, president of AirRobot US Inc., a drone maker in Arlington, Va.
During my interview with him, Meyer pointed out that the NPRM references specific use cases for drones, such as in agricultural operations, patrolling pipelines, power lines and canals and aerial advertising.
What’s noticeably missing are news media use cases.
Meyer said the media should make an effort to educate the FAA about how unmanned aircraft systems, UAS vehicles, would be used to cover news.
He recommended the media give details on their use in recurring news coverage situations, such as covering building fires, protest marches and other specific stories.
Unlike the FCC, which must deal daily with the needs of television broadcasters, the FAA — perhaps, outside of tower lighting rules — doesn’t have regular contact with the TV industry, he said.
If the rules under consideration are to reflect the needs of television broadcasters, it will be up to the TV industry to educate the FAA about what is required — in detail and with specific examples.