Time Warner's CNN news channel has bought a drone from Napier-based Altus Unmanned Aerial Solutions as part of a trial of aerial news gathering under a US Federal Aviation Administration programme.
CNN is one of three "Pathfinder" organisations selected by the FAA to evaluate the functionality and safety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
It acquired a Delta X8 from Altus, which will provide technology and support, while Blue Chip Unmanned Aerial Solutions will provide operators and training to CNN.
The Delta X8 is an industrial grade survey multi-rotor machine with a 140 centimetre wingspan and maximum take-off weight of 22.5 kilograms, according to the Altus website.
Shaun Mitchell, co-founder of Altus, told BusinessDesk last year that market research has forecast the economic impact of UAV technology in the US alone to be $82 billion by 2025.