Phoenix Air Unmanned has achieved a remarkable milestone in the field of remotely piloted aircraft systems after receiving FAA authorization to conduct operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) across the entire United States.
Phoenix Air Unmanned (PAU), in partnership with SwissDrones, has achieved a remarkable milestone in the field of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). The company recently received unprecedented FAA authorization for the SDO 50 V2 multi-mission, single-turbine uncrewed helicopter system to conduct operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) across the entire United States. This achievement marks a significant regulatory breakthrough and is poised to reshape the landscape of aerial inspection, patrol, and survey missions. The SwissDrone SDO 50 was recently featured in the Emerging Technology pavilion at NBAA BACE 2023.
Over a period of three years, SwissDrones and PAU collaborated closely to develop a comprehensive concept of safe BVLOS operations (CONOPS) and conducted numerous flight trials in the United States, successfully meeting all regulatory and safety requirements. As a result, PAU is now equipped to undertake extended-range inspection and patrol flights over linear infrastructure, adhering to the same regulations as traditional-crewed aircraft.
Will Lovett, Managing Director of Phoenix Air Unmanned, highlighted the game-changing nature of this authorization, allowing them to conduct BVLOS operations for utilities nationwide. The SDO 50 V2 system not only offers advanced sensor packages and extended endurance, significantly boosting capabilities in the Utility and Energy sector, but the safety certifications held by each PAU crewmember set them apart in terms of proficiency and commitment to BVLOS best practices. Each crewmember is required to hold USI Advanced Safety Level 2 Certifications, showcasing their dedication to ensuring safe and secure operations. “We had to meet all FAA regulatory and safety requirements as traditional crewed aircraft for this approval,” said Lovett. “The training we perform with the support of USI provided us with the professional, consistent, and aviation best practices-based standards required by the FAA.” This emphasis on safety, coupled with the innovative capabilities of the SDO 50 V2 system, enables PAU to provide more efficient and cost-effective alternatives to traditional infrastructure inspection methods while adhering to the highest safety standards in the industry.
Phoenix Air Unmanned's achievement in securing BVLOS authorization for their operations nationwide highlights their team's unwavering commitment to safety and regulatory compliance. It also sets a precedent for other organizations aiming to pursue BVLOS approvals for their commercial operations. With this authorization, PAU is well-positioned to offer advanced solutions that not only enhance operational efficiency but also prioritize safety, making them a leader in the industry.
This collaborative success between Phoenix Air Unmanned and SwissDrones underscores the potential of remotely piloted systems in revolutionizing various industries and reflects the industry's continued growth and innovation.
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