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December 4, 2014

US media company plans news-gathering drones

Alpha Media: "We'll be flying them in Portland".

By Ben Sullivan

A media company in the Unites States is planning to use drones for the purpose of news gathering.

However, Alpha Media, which owns nearly 70 radio stations, will have to wait until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves new policies governing drone flights.

The company will use the drones to gather traffic footage on highways and outdoor music events for a radio station in Portland, Oregon called KXL-FM 101.

Executive VP of the Alpha Media Scott Mahalick said: "We’ve entered into an agreement with a drone manufacturer, and we’ll be flying them in Portland, subject to the FAA’s new guidelines."

Most commercial drone flights are currently banned by the FAA, but Congress is pushing drone integration into US airspace firmly, expecting to see policies changed within two years.

A further 159 companies have requested permission for drone flights, reports Reuters, mostly for news gathering purposes.

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