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AP

Journalists within five miles of a major airport will be able to get "instant authorization" to fly drones in controlled airspace, Poynter writes. This is good news for reporters who want to use drones for a birds-eye view of an unfolding story or to monitor areas of interest (a la the aerial photo of Chris Christie on a beach after closing beaches to the public).

Why it matters: "The single largest impediment to journalists using drones for breaking news is access to airspace," Matt Waite, founder of the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska, told Poynter. "When it can take months to get approval from the FAA, that just doesn't work for most news uses. This is a giant leap toward drones being a common part of your local news."

  • The FAA is rolling out facility maps that will give pilots a decent idea of whether they'll get waiver approval before requesting.
  • It will start what is called Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, or LAANC, in select cities such as Cincinnati, Phoenix and Miami. 50 cities will be included by the end of the year.
  • The new process will take into account how much the airspace is, the weather, local restrictions and public safety considerations.

Go deeper

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Trump confidante Matt Schlapp interviews Jared Kushner last February. Schlapp is seeking a pardon for a biotech executive. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

A flood of convicted criminals has retained lobbyists since November’s presidential election to press President Trump for pardons or commutations before he leaves office.

What we're hearing: Among them is Nickie Lum Davis, a Hawaii woman who pleaded guilty last year to abetting an illicit foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of fugitive Malaysian businessman Jho Low. Trump confidante Matt Schlapp also is seeking a pardon for a former biopharmaceutical executive convicted of fraud less than two months ago.