Archives: Drones

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UPS Receives FAA Approval for Drone Deliveries

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted UPS Flight Forward, Inc. (UPS) a Part 135 air carrier and operator certification for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drone) delivery. The certification was granted through the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program and will allow UPS to perform revenue-generating package-delivery activities using drones. As a Part 135 operator, … Continue Reading

Another Delay in Issuance of UAS Remote Identification Regulations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) has been delayed – again. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is now scheduled for release in December 2019. These rules will address remote identification, which is the ability of a drone to … Continue Reading

New Delivery Drone Unveiled

Last week, Reno, Nevada-based Flirtey introduced its new delivery drone – the Flirtey Eagle. This new drone was created to deliver packages to customers in less than 10 minutes, operate in 95 percent of potential wind speeds and weather conditions, and deliver its contents by lowering a tether while the drone is suspended in air. … Continue Reading

Drone Completes 115-Mile Trial for Offshore Methane Detection

Last week, British Petroleum’s (BP) North Sea business completed its pilot project to remotely monitor methane emissions of its offshore assets by using an unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone). BP used a fixed-wing UAS with sensor technology originally designed by NASA for the Mars Curiosity Rover. The UAS circled one of BP’s offshore platforms … Continue Reading

FAA Demonstrates Successful UAS Traffic Management

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and industry partners in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) traffic management system pilot successfully demonstrated how multiple drones can function safely in the national airspace. During the demonstrations, conducted at three separate test sites, multiple beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations were conducted at … Continue Reading

FAA Seeks Stakeholder Input on Aeronautical Test for Recreational Operators

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a request for information (RFI) last week asking unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) stakeholders for input regarding the creation of a new aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone operators. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (the Act) requires new conditions to operate recreational small UAS; however, right now, … Continue Reading

Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone Operations in Kansas

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the go-ahead for the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to conduct beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. The KDOT team, which includes Kansas State University Polytechnic, Westar Energy and Iris Automation,  will fly a nine-mile track to evaluate technologies for power line inspections in rural … Continue Reading

North Dakota Sheriff’s Department to Operate Drones Over People

Last week, the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department in North Dakota received a four-year waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones over people. The Department will routinely conduct drone operations over people for purposes of public safety and monitoring. Currently, the Department has five drones –all equipped with a parachute recovery system. Specifically, … Continue Reading

Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Drone Operations in Alaska

A beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight of a drone traveled along the Trans-Alaska pipeline system (TAPS) this month, led by a team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration. Operators flew the drone along 3.87 miles of TAPS, using onboard and ground-based detection systems (instead of human observers) to detect and … Continue Reading

New B4UFly App Released by FAA and Kittyhawk

At the beginning of 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Kittyhawk, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) service provider, announced a partnership to update the FAA’s B4UFly app. The newly updated app was released last week for drone operators (both commercial and recreational alike), which now determines in real-time which airspace restrictions are … Continue Reading

$7.75 Million Grant Awarded to Drone Companies for Drone Traffic Management

Two New York drone companies, AX Enterprize and Thales USA, were awarded a $7.75 million grant from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab to develop state-of-the-art air traffic management (ATM) systems to would allow civilian and military drones to safely coexist alongside manned aircraft in the national airspace. The project and research will be conducted … Continue Reading

FAA Expands Drone Operations for Recreational Operators

As of July 23, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expanded the Low Altitude Authorization and Capability (LAANC) system to include recreational operators. LAANC is a system built as a collaboration between the FAA and industry stakeholders to help expedite the time it takes to receive authorization to fly a drone under 400 feet in … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Drone Initiative

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) drone initiative has taken off. What does that mean for your company? Currently, OSHA can only use drones for inspection activities with permission from employers. However, that could leave you in an uncomfortable position if you deny OSHA’s request to use a drone for its inspection. How should … Continue Reading

UPS Seeks Certification for Drone Delivery Services

United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS) is seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate a network of commercial drones for purposes of delivering packages all across the U.S. If UPS’ request for certification is granted by the FAA, UPS could be flying drones over people in populated areas, at night and … Continue Reading

Washington State Increases Drone Fleet to 111 Drones

Over only a few years’ time, Washington State Patrol (the Patrol) has built a drone fleet of 111 drones. The Patrol says that it uses these small drones for crash investigations and fatality scenes, and not for surveillance purposes. Detective Sergeant Clint Thomas said that roughly 100 state troopers and detective across the state are … Continue Reading

U.S. Interior Approves Use of DJI Drones

The U.S. Interior Department (the Interior) authorized government officials to buy drones from DJI Technology (DJI) after a previous warning that the company may act as a channel for Chinese government espionage. However, Mark Bathrick, Director of the Office of Aviation Services, said, “[This authorization is] a very narrow, very specific, very limited authorization. We’re … Continue Reading

ULC Model State Drone Legislation to be Discussed

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is set to meet this week and next in Anchorage, Alaska to discuss and vote on model state legislation concerning drones. The ULC’s proposed legislation is an attempt to recognize the fact that drones can be transformative to search and rescue, inspection and logistics, but that when misused, a drone … Continue Reading

Canada’s New Drone Regulations

In Canada, the drone industry has nearly doubled in size every two years over the past decade. With that boom, Canadian regulators have been grappling with many of the same questions that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been struggling with as well — how do you safely incorporate drones into the airspace? To … Continue Reading

Amazon Prime Air’s Drone Design

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced Amazon Prime Air, a delivery-by-drone initiative more than five years ago, and last week, Amazon revealed more information about its delivery system–the design. The Amazon delivery drone will use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) technology that is aerodynamic and “fully shrouded for safety.” Additionally, the drone features artificial intelligence to … Continue Reading

FAA Grants Waiver for Drone Use Over People

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Hensel Phelps Construction Co. a Part 107 unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) waiver to operate a parachute-equipped drone over people. However, the FAA clarified that while it granted the wavier for the use it did not certify or approve the parachute or the parachute system itself. … Continue Reading

U.S. Senators Push for Remote Drone I.D.

U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and John Thune (R-SD) called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to publish a proposed rule for the remote identification of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones). The request was issued through a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). According to the Senators’ letter, remote identification … Continue Reading

Drone Delivers Human Kidney for Transplant

Last month, a University of Maryland unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) delivered a donor kidney to surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore for an ultimately successful transplant to a patient with kidney failure. The drone flew 2.6 miles in approximately 10 minutes. This University of Maryland project is important … Continue Reading

FAA’s UAS Growth Predictions

In the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) latest aerospace forecast, it noted the “phenomenal growth” of the small unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) industry. The FAA reported that at the end of 2018 there were 277,000 UAS registered with the FAA. In the FAA’s 2017 report and predictions, that number was expected to be only … Continue Reading
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