New commercial BVLOS 12-mile milestone – longest distance allowed by FAA for Censys Technologies and Soaring Eagle Technologies
February 9, 2022
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  • Censys Technologies and Soaring Eagle Technologies, the leading commercial Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) service provider in the US, have secured their third BVLOS waiver, resulting in more efficient tech-enabled data acquisition. The waiver covers a 12-mile distance – the longest distance ever approved by the FAA.

    Over the past three years both companies have worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build a reputable safety case using Iris Automation’s advanced detect-and-avoid technology (DAA) system, Casia, and have completed thousands of flights.

    The Soaring Eagle team plans to utilize the waiver for inspecting transmission power lines per the FAA’s Part 107.31/33 waiver, enabling the remote pilot-in-command (RPIC) to fly three miles downrange for a total of six unique miles of data.

    According to the President of Soaring Eagle, Will Paden, “Soaring Eagle, Censys and Iris Automation are on a mission to help surveyors, engineers and asset managers—including those responsible for utilities, bridges and other critical infrastructure—bridge the gap in cost-effectiveness in applications of unmanned aviation. The continued expansion of BVLOS operations means data acquisition with significantly lower cost and environmental impact.”

    “Censys and Soaring Eagle Technologies are doing truly significant work to expand BVLOS operations,” explains Gabrielle Wain, VP of Global Policy and Government Affairs, Iris Automation.

    “Censys and their clients have documented a huge amount of flight data, coupled with the Casia DAA’s groundbreaking performance and reliability data, to prove their mission’s safety and capability to the FAA.”

    “The difference between submitting a waiver three years ago and today is data,” explains John Lobdell, Chief Technology Officer and waiver team lead at Censys. “When we submit a waiver now, we have proof from our flight teams, DAA supplier and customers that proves BVLOS mission reliability.”

    The FAA requires drone pilots to maintain visual line of sight at all times with any drone they are operating, unless they have secured a BVLOS waiver. The Censys Technologies team utilizes its industry expertise, DAA technology and data to help get clients’ aircraft in the sky quickly and efficiently for advanced operations.