Drone Journalism lab opens up COA process for all.


If you have been living under a rock you will have not noticed that Matt Waite’s Drone Journalism Lab was shut down by the FAA recently. They are now in the COA process and are going to share how. Well done Matt!

By Matt Waite

As part of our efforts to get a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA to test drones for journalism, we’re opening up the process to others who might be interested.

On GitHub, we’ve posted our work-in-progress on a COA and we’re making the content of the permitting screens available. To our knowledge, this is the first time the look and content of the permitting system has been made available. You can get copies of approved COAs on the FAA website, but the context for those answers isn’t included.

Now it is.

The GitHub repository is organized by the individual screens that applicants must fill out to get a COA. In each folder, there is a PDF of the screen itself and a Markdown file of the text of the screens plus our answers to some of the questions. We will be adding more answers as we complete them.

Unfamiliar with GitHub and Markdown? You can click on the folders and then on the files themselves and GitHub will render the Markdown files as they should appear. There’s also a link on the right where you can download the entire repository as a Zip file. There are numerous free Markdown editors out there.

Familiar with GitHub and want to help out? Pull requests are welcome. Are you in the COA process and want to add your answers? We’d love it. The more information we all have, the better.