This week, Soaring Eagle Technologies, a drone data collection company that provides services for critical infrastructure in the U.S., received one of the first beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) waivers from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) for commercial inspection missions under operational guidelines as opposed to specific operations in a specific geographical area. This nationwide BVLOS waiver is based on Soaring Eagle’s ability to meet specific operational parameters rather than operating within a specific timeframe in a specific area which is the more common BVLOS waiver granted by the FAA. The waiver allows Soaring Eagle to collect high-resolution images (i.e., Light Detection And Ranging, aka LiDAR) much more efficiently and in a much safer manner than with traditional manned aviation. Now, critical infrastructure asset managers can work with Soaring Eagle to conduct inspections of electric utility corridors and other infrastructure using drones BVLOS. This will allow for more data collection and better return on investment. This long-range BVLOS drone inspection will allow vegetation audits and detailed mapping to occur in large areas. It also will permit asset managers to more efficiently survey land for large construction projects such as solar fields and electrical utility construction. The technology used by Soaring Eagle can survey 800-3,000 acres in a day. This is a huge step for UAS and a substantial benefit to our critical infrastructure.