A photo taken on September 9, 2014 shows a drone flying over vineyards of the Pape Clement castle in the soutwestern French town of Pessac.
Jean Pierre Muller—AFP/Getty Images
By Dan Kedmey
January 13, 2015

CNN and the Federal Aviation Administration signed a research agreement Monday paving the way for the network to experiment with capturing news footage in the field.

“Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism using various types of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] and camera setups,” CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante said in a public statement.

CNN previously partnered with Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop drones for aerial footage. The new FAA agreement will ensure data from CNN’s experiments will be shared with regulators.

The announcement comes as a growing number of industries have urged the FAA to relax its restrictions on commercial drone flights. The agency last week granted new commercial drone permits to two companies: one in agriculture, the other in real estate.

“We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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