Drone-based newsgathering is gaining a foothold among television stations, with TVNewsCheck reporting that 45 stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group will have drones by the end of 2017.
Ten of the company’s stations are already equipped with the devices, according to Jeff Rose, whose title at Sinclair is UAS (unmanned aircraft system) chief pilot. Rose detailed the company’s drone program Tuesday during a panel discussion on new electronic newsgathering technologies at TVNewsCheck’s NewsTech Forum in New York.
Personnel at the stations are required to obtain FAA certification to pilot the drones, and Rose noted that company policy requires two pilots to operate a single drone at all times.
While Rose commented that “Viewers love drones,” he also noted that their use over population centers for newsgathering has yet to be approved.