For some reason this major news item was not picked up by the UAS industry. This is a potential game changer and it says to me that if you can prove your case for BVLOS, as Cape did, that the FAA is going to listen.
From a press release March 19, 2o19
Cape, the leading cloud platform for drone telepresence and data management, today announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the first-ever public safety Certificate of Authorization (COA) with a provision for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) for an Integrated Pilot Program that will allow for proactive emergency response.
Cape worked closely with the FAA, and in partnership with the Chula Vista Police Department and Skyfire Consulting, to finalize the COA, which will open the doors for future drone integration across industries.
The precedent-setting BVLOS provision is a major regulatory win for the entire U.S. drone industry. It will not only lay the groundwork for other public safety agencies, but also open the door for other industries to benefit from their successes.
For these agencies, securing a COA that includes a BVLOS provision vastly increases the total allowed area that drones can cover, maximizing the impact of their drone programs. Highly-influential in securing the approval were capabilities and critical safeguards built into the Cape Aerial Telepresence platform, including the ability to teleoperate the drone, geofencing, Cape’s “Smart Return to Home” functionality and collision avoidance.
Since October 2018, Cape has powered the nation’s first Drone as a First Responder program in partnership with the Chula Vista Police Department, where drones are integrated into daily emergency response operations as part of the San Diego Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).
Since its launch, CVPD drones equipped with the Cape Aerial Telepresence platform have conducted more than 300 flights, accounting for more than 80 hours of flight time without incident or accident, and have contributed to more than 40 arrests.
The new COA, which goes into effect March 15, 2019, will increase the total footprint of coverage for emergency response operations from a three to nearly 40-mile area. Compared to the current regulation, which prevents the drone from being flown beyond the Pilot-in-Command’s (PIC) line of sight, CVPD will now be able to operate drones up to three nautical miles from the PIC, or more than 10X the previous coverage area.
For the entire press release click here.
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