Hogan Lovells Helps CNN to Secure First-Ever Part 107 Waiver for Closed Set Filming Drone Operations

WASHINGTON, D.C., 21 July 2017 – On behalf of its client CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR), Hogan Lovells announced today that CNN has received the first Part 107 waiver issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS,” or drone) operations over people for closed-set motion picture and television filming. Previously, the Hogan Lovells team assisted CNN to secure the FAA’s first-ever waiver to fly UAS over members of the public for media coverage, including newsgathering and reporting activities.

“CNN AIR’s Part 107 closed set waiver approval marks an important step forward for the commercial drone industry at large,” said Lisa Ellman, Hogan Lovell’s UAS Practice Chair and also Co-Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance. “Filmmakers, newsgatherers and other industries operating drones in controlled environments need the ability to fly over participants. We are grateful that FAA has developed a workable process for approving flights over people in these types of environments under its new Part 107 commercial drone regulatory regime.”

The new waiver allows CNN AIR to operate a diverse range of UAS over uncovered people participating in filming operations. As part of the waiver approval process, CNN demonstrated to the FAA that its operations could be conducted safely.

The successful waiver application builds on CNN’s longstanding commitment to advancing UAS policies for news organizations. In 2015, the FAA selected CNN as one of the first three industry “Pathfinders” to develop safe uses of UAS in newsgathering, particularly in high-populated areas. The latest approval builds on CNN's closed set filming authority previously granted under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

Partner Lisa Ellman and senior associate Matthew Clark led the Hogan Lovells team advising CNN.

About Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells is a leading global legal practice providing business-oriented legal advice and high-quality service across its exceptional breadth of practices to clients around the world.

“Hogan Lovells” or the “firm” is an international legal practice that includes Hogan Lovells US LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP. For more information, see www.hoganlovells.com.


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