Now that Part 107 is officially in effect, the FAA will begin granting waivers that will allow some businesses to waive some rules if they can prove they can fly their drones safely. PrecisionHawk has announced the FAA has granted it a beyond line of sight (BLOS) waiver for its commercial operations. The waiver was based on PrecisionHawk’s Pathfinder work, where it has been researching and testing BLOS with the FAA.
“Under Pathfinder, PrecisionHawk has been able to research and understand the complexities of operating in EVLOS [extended visual line of sight], which we have shared with the FAA to help specify and shape the requirements for doing it safely,” said Thomas Haun, executive vice president at PrecisionHawk, in a statement. “Large agribusiness fields, forests, mining operations, public utilities and other rural industries are examples of where extended operations are needed, and to accommodate the growing demand, PrecisionHawk has been actively exploring operational and technology solutions to meet this need.”
In addition to BLOS, PrecisionHawk is being granted the ability to train operators who have an interest in EVLOS fights as a service. PrecisionHawk will be allowed to research EVLOS in real-world situations with drones weighing 55 pounds of less.
According to the company, EVLOS operations will help improve economic efficiency, coverage area, and maximize drone’s capabilities.
“Without a clear definition of the operational or technological requirements to fly a drone beyond the operator’s line of sight, it is the best interest of the industry to require a standard of experienced operations in EVLOS to mitigate risk,” said Tyler Collins, vice president of airspace at PrecisionHawk. “We look forward to sharing the mitigations, parameters and airspace technologies we have been successful with under Pathfinder to support the approval of additional EVLOS waivers.”