The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is teaming up with CNN, BNSF Railway and drone-maker PrecisionHawk to study the usage of drones in urban environment, beyond previously allowed operations.
CNN is planning to use drones to take journalism to the next level by filming in urban areas, while BNSF is likely to use the flying device to inspect its railroads across hundreds of miles, and PrecisionHawk will be using the device to collect data on crops and agriculture operations.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said: "Even as we pursue our current rulemaking effort for small unmanned aircraft, we must continue to actively look for future ways to expand non-recreational UAS uses.
"This new initiative involving three leading U.S. companies will help us anticipate and address the needs of the evolving UAS industry."
FAA also introduced an app, B4UFLY which will provide drone users with vital information including safety and legal regulations required to fly drones in a particular area.
The app will provide a ‘status’ indicator regarding the area of proposed flight, along with information on the parameters that drive the status indicator, interactive maps with filtering options, and contact information for nearby airports.
Huerta added: "We want to make sure hobbyists and modelers know where it is and isn’t okay to fly.
"While there are other apps that provide model aircraft enthusiast with various types of data, we believe B4UFLY has the most user-friendly interface and the most up-to-date information."