Policy & Regulation

March 25, 2019

Sabrewing, Alaska tribe to develop Bering Sea UAS test site

BY Patrick C. MillerSabrewing Aircraft Co. and a native Alaskan tribe have signed an agreement with an estimated value of $43 million to test 10 aircraft—both manned and unmanned—at a site centered on Saint Paul Island in the Bering Sea 770 miles west of Anchorage. READ MORE

March 13, 2019

Federal UAS program offers potential beyond fighting wildfires

BY Patrick C. MillerA UAS expert says that a new federal R&D program established by Congress to integrate drones into wildfire fighting operations could lead to broader UAS applications and regulations for their use during emergency situations. READ MORE

March 13, 2019

Flirtey and Reno receive FAA approval for BVLOS drone delivery

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA has approved BVLOS flights for the city of Reno, Nevada, and Flirtey, its partner in the UAS Integration Pilot Program. Flirtey will use its latest drone to deliver emergency defibrillators to heart attack victims. READ MORE

March 06, 2019

BVLOS oil and gas inspections conducted in Nigeria

BY Patrick C. MillerThe combination of professional drone pilots, situational awareness software, a long-range UAS and regulatory supervision enabled Aerial Robotix to demonstrate its BVLOS inspection capabilities for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. READ MORE

February 27, 2019

FAA to release new version of B4UFLY app later this year

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA and software developer Kittyhawk are partnering on a new version of the B4UFLY mobile app, which helps recreational drone pilots determine where they can safely fly. The updated app is expected to be released later in 2019. READ MORE

February 21, 2019

Insitu begins commercial UAS operations in Papua New Guinea

BY Insitu Inc. Insitu Commercial Solutions has conducted a series of aerial data collection operations in Papua New Guinea after obtaining its first approval for commercial UAS operations in the country. Insitu conducted remote sensing operations using LiDAR. READ MORE

February 15, 2019

FAA restricts UAS flights over federal facilities

BY Federal Aviation Administration The FAA has announced new restrictions on drone operations over certain Department of Justice and Department of Defense facilities. The additional restrictions are on UAS flights up to 400 feet and within the boundaries of 41 facilities. READ MORE

February 13, 2019

Whitepaper outlines economic impact of BVLOS drone operations

BY Patrick C. MillerA recently released whitepaper produced by PrecisionHawk and Skylogic Research highlights the economic impact of commercial BVLOS drone operations on the utility, insurance and oil and gas industries. Cost savings and safety are key factors. READ MORE

February 13, 2019

FAA makes major drone ID marking change

BY Federal Aviation Administration Beginning Feb. 23, the FAA is requiring all small UAS owners to display the FAA-issued registration number on an outside surface of their aircraft. Owners and operators may no longer place or write registration numbers on an interior compartment. READ MORE

January 30, 2019

FAA proposes new rules to move UAS industry forward

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA has published notices of proposed rulemaking for drone flights over people and nighttime operations without requiring waivers from the agency. The Department of Transportation is also moving ahead to develop UAS traffic management technology. READ MORE

January 29, 2019

General Atomics collaborates with businesses in UK, Belgium

BY Patrick C. MillerGeneral Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is collaborating with businesses in the United Kingdom and Belgium to support its operational and new remotely piloted aircraft systems. The Belgian team includes five businesses while the UK group has 12. READ MORE

January 14, 2019

Canada set to launch new drone regulations in June

BY Patrick C. MillerCanada will implement new drone regulations in June this year for both recreational and commercial UAS pilots. The regulations provide serious penalties for those who break the rules. A small UAS operator said the rules could put him out of business. READ MORE

January 14, 2019

AUVSI joins groups calling for end to government shutdown

BY Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International AUVSI has joined with several aviation-related organizations in calling for an end to the ongoing federal government shutdown. Brian Wynne, AUVSI president and CEO, said the shutdown jeopardizes the safety and security of the U.S. national airspace. READ MORE

January 09, 2019

State Farm gets FAA waiver for drone damage assessments

BY State Farm The FAA has issued State Farm the first national waiver to fly drones over people and beyond a pilot's visual line of sight to conduct damage assessments. The insurance company says this will make the claims process more efficient. READ MORE

January 03, 2019

High-Tech Inspections

BY Patrick C. MillerDrones and robots are seeing increasing use in the energy industry, but this technical revolution hasn’t yet caught on in the biomass energy industry. Black & Veatch and Interactive Aerial discuss potential UAS uses for the biomass market. READ MORE

January 02, 2019

UAS BVLOS network successfully tested in eastern North Dakota

BY Patrick C. MillerThe University of North Dakota, Harris Corp. and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site have conducted successful flight tests using a BVLOS UAS network with the potential to broaden the commercial use of drones. READ MORE

January 01, 2019

DroneUp, SkyWatch.AI collaborate on UAS insurance coverage

BY Patrick C. MillerDroneUp—a commercial done pilot network—and Skywatch.AI—a nationwide aviation insurance provider—have formed a partnership to provide tailored, on-demand liability coverage for missions flown by pilots in the network. READ MORE

January 01, 2019

ANSI group releases UAS standardization roadmap

BY Patrick C. MillerThe American National Standards Institute—known as ANSI—has released a UAS standards roadmap produced by its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative. The goal is to encourage a coordinated approach for UAS standards development. READ MORE

December 18, 2018

Kansas State Polytechnic offers scholarships to first responders

BY Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus The Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus is offering $500 scholarships to first responders interested in attending its 2019 small UAS commercial pilot training course. The course includes three days of training and the FAA exam. READ MORE

December 14, 2018

Utility successfully conducts 60-mile BVLOS inspection flight

BY Patrick C. MillerA 60-mile BVLOS transmission line inspection test flight was successfully conducted last month by Ameren Corp., a utility with customers in Missouri and Illinois. Black & Veatch and Collins Aerospace collaborated with Ameren on the project. READ MORE

December 06, 2018

FAA campaign reminds new drone owners to fly safely

BY Patrick C. MillerTo help those who purchase or receive new drones during the holiday season, the FAA has created "Buzzy the Drone." The agency's animated character uses social media to give new drone pilots hints and tips on safe and responsible flying. READ MORE

December 03, 2018

FAA names Merkle new head of UAS Integration Office

BY Patrick C. MillerThe FAA has named Jay Merkle, former deputy vice president of the agency's Air Traffic Organization Program Management Office, to lead the UAS Integration Office. He has more than 25 years of experience in engineering and program management. READ MORE

November 29, 2018

Belgium, Australia to acquire General Atomics UAS platforms

BY Patrick C. MillerThe defense forces of Belgium and Australia have been authorized to acquire UAS designed and built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Belgium will negotiate to buy the SkyGuardian and Australia will purchase the armed Reaper. READ MORE

November 29, 2018

Honeywell Aerospace starts UAV inspection service in India

BY Honeywell Aerospace Honeywell Aerospace is launching a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Inspection and Data Analytics Service in India. Targeted at utilities and oil and gas companies, the service helps customers across the country improve and modernize. READ MORE

November 13, 2018

DHS explores machine learning to improve drone detection

BY Patrick C. MillerCombining cameras with machine learning technology, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Sandia National Labs are developing ways to make the visual identification of drones as precise and reliable as thermal, radio or acoustic signatures. READ MORE

November 09, 2018

Micro-weather forecasts for UAS will be tested in New York

BY Patrick C. MillerCustomWeather Inc. and TruWeather Solutions have formed a partnership aimed at developing micro-weather forecasts for BVLOS UAS operations. The technology will be tested in the NUAIR Alliance UAS traffic management corridor. READ MORE

November 07, 2018

Robird drone convinces bird flocks to move away from airports

BY Patrick C. MillerA drone that looks and flies like a peregrine falcon is convincing flocks of birds to move away from busy airports where they're a threat to manned aviation. The Robird has proved its worth at the Grand Forks International Airport in North Dakota. READ MORE

November 01, 2018

AUVSI launches Trusted Operator Program for UAS operators

BY Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International AUVSI is launching a new Trusted Operators Program for UAS pilots and training organizations to improve safety through a higher standard of professionalism. TOP certification provides an AUVSI seal of approval above and beyond FAA requirements. READ MORE

October 29, 2018

Insitu, FAA hold meeting to demonstrate UAS type certification

BY Insitu Inc. Insitu Inc. recently collaborated with the FAA to complete the first Type Certification Board Meeting in support of its ScanEagle 3. Four FAA teams met at Insitu's headquarters in Bingen, Washington, to review the proposed 2019 type certification. READ MORE

October 25, 2018

In-Flight Data, senseFly collaborate on urban BVLOS project

BY Patrick C. MillerCanadian drone operator In-Flight Data and Swiss UAS manufacturer senseFly have collaborated on North America's first BVLOS project in a major city. Mapping data was collected for a new cemetery planned in Calgary, Alberta. READ MORE