Two more companies will conduct drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved UPS Flight Forward and uAvionix for this type of operation in national airspace. UPS Flight Forward plans to conduct BVLOS drone operations for small-package delivery using a ground-based surveillance system. UPS Flight Forward will conduct these flights in North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. However, it may operate in other states from its Remote Operations Center (ROC) in Kentucky.

uAvionix plans to use the Vantis Network to test its own detect and avoid technology during BVLOS operations. The FAA stated that it is still working to adopt rules for “routine, scalable and economically viable” BVLOS drone operations. Those rules will likely allow wider spread BVLOS operations across the country. The FAA’s goal is to integrate drones into the national airspace in a way that allows drones and manned aircraft to coexist as opposed to a dedicated airspace only for drones.