After issuing rules on Remote Identification and Operations Over People, the FAA is now focused on enabling what has long been the holy grail for the industry and the country: operations beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS). Look no further than the Aviation Rulemaking Committee on BVLOS as an example of the FAA's interest in enabling BVLOS. Where are we at, and where are we going with this endeavor? This session will reveal how close we have come to achieving that objective–and how far we still have to go.
Session Moderated by Lisa Ellman, Commercial Drone Alliance
Linear Infrastructure Inspections: Using Shared BVLOS Infrastructure to Serve Multiple Users with Multiple Use Cases
Access to beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights means faster, safer, more cost-effective linear infrastructure inspections – but currently, BVLOS approvals require significant investments of time and resources. North Dakota is building a BVLOS network – ground-based infrastructure that provides command and control and see and avoid technology within its "coverage area," enabling safe and reliable BVLOS flights within that area. This network, Vantis, allows multiple types of aircraft and operations to fly simultaneously within its coverage area, facilitating inspections of electric lines, pipelines, railways lines, and roads and highways. North Dakota is working with industry partners and regulators to build this single network for multiple users to enable BVLOS, increase safety and efficiency, and reduce costs.
Trevor Woods, Northern Plains UAS Test Site
Applying BVLOS to Maximize the Effectiveness of Utility UAS Programs
Beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) UAS technology allows operators to fly drones further that what is visible to the human operator depending on the landscape and terrain. As part of a broader drone program, BVLOS operations enable utility companies to substantially increase the efficiency and effectiveness of long-linear inspection and vegetation management activities. For example, the opportunity to capture, process, and provide images and data from large sections of the grid in real-time can dramatically increase the value and immediate impact of a drone program. Further, BVLOS operations allow utilities to perform more frequent and demand-responsive inspections, leading to a more predictive maintenance model resulting in a decreased risk of outages. Unfortunately, most internal utility UAS programs do not have long-range BVLOS capabilities due to the complex regulatory requirements, capital investments, and operational considerations.
Eileen Lockhart, Spright, an Air Methods Company
This session will explore the complexities and opportunities of BVLOS drone operations. Participants will further their understanding for how BVLOS can expand the effectiveness and efficiency of utility inspection operations to maximize the potential of UAS programs.
Toward BVLOS: What You Need to Know
A panel of experts will explain and explore what regulatory advancements are necessary to enable scaled commercial BVLOS operations – and what recent progress means for operators and organizations.
Panelists will be posted soon. Check back for details.
Attendees will come away from the session with a sense of how they can move forward operationally based on how the federal government is looking to enable high-value BVLOS use cases.