Percepto, an autonomous inspection and monitoring solutions provider, has announced the receipt of an unprecedented waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
According to the company, the approval allows the company to operate uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in shielded airspace, without humans onsite and without expensive and cumbersome ground-based or airborne detect and avoid (DAA) systems, for inspection and monitoring operations at critical and non-critical infrastructure sites in the US.
Percepto says that under the waiver, low risk “shielded” BVLOS operations are authorized 200 feet above and around assets located on critical infrastructure sites. At non-critical infrastructure sites, shielded BVLOS operations are permitted 50 feet higher than the tallest obstruction located within a half-mile of the site.
Percepto highlights that it proactively engaged with the FAA throughout the waiver application process and demonstrated to the FAA that the company can operate BVLOS close to structures safely without costly ground based or airborne DAA systems.
The operations authorized under this approval build upon recommendations made by the UAS BVLOS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) chartered by the FAA. The ARC correctly recognized that shielded airspace near structures and other obstacles where crewed aircraft do not typically operate could be leveraged as a safety mitigation to support safe, scalable and economically viable UAS BVLOS operations. Percepto served as a member on the BVLOS ARC.
“Percepto is very grateful to the FAA staff for their engagement and consideration of our application for this important waiver,” said Neta Gliksman, Percepto Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs. “This waiver will help usher in a new era of scalable UAS operations that will benefit the critical infrastructure industry immediately and in the future, in ways we haven’t even yet imagined.”
“This waiver’s implications for BVLOS UAS operations in the US are massive,” said Lisa Ellman, Chair of the Global UAS Practice at Hogan Lovells and Outside Counsel to Percepto. “The FAA waiver provides scalability to businesses and encourages innovation across the industry, which will yield significant benefits for critical infrastructure facilities and the American people.”