The Newspaper Association of America expressed support for the FAA’s proposed creation of a “Micro Unmanned Aircraft System” classification for drones weighing 4.4 pounds or less.The UAS classification would be less regulated than larger drones and could accommodate the current needs of news organizations.

But the NAA also submitted comments that cited concerns over some proposed rules that would impact newsgathering abilities, such as the prohibition on flying drones at night our outside the sightline of the operator, and excluding drones from flying above the general public.

“Drones allow news organizations to cover a wide variety of stories, including protests, riots and other newsworthy events,” the NAA said. “It would be effectively impossible to cover the news without flying over individuals.

“The NPRM is a significant step in the right direction, but the FAA should take care not to impose requirements that would overly constrain the ability of news organizations to provide such coverage.”

The comments went on to state that the NAA believes drones represent “one of the most promising newsgathering technologies in decades.”

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