Elsight customer Spright earns for first of its kind FAA waiver for drone operations in US
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In what is also a win for Elsight one of its leading customers Spright has earned the first of its kind US Federal Aviation Authority beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) waiver for drone operations.
Elsight (ASX:ELS) has announced Spright has earned a nationwide, non-geospecific Certificate of Waiver (CoW) for BVLOS drone operations from the FAA which enables small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) to travel up to four nautical miles for critical utility infrastructure surveys.
Spright is a division of Air Methods, the preferred partner for US hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services, with nearly 40 years of air medical experience.
The company provides turnkey uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) service solutions which is revolutionising healthcare delivery and aerial utility inspections.
Applying ground-breaking tech and an innovative service model, Spright offers streamlined and sustainable drone-based solutions to overcome the everyday challenges of inefficient ground operations.
The COW will provide Spright customers with access to the most advanced and versatile inspection solutions in the industry, resulting in a more effective maintenance model that leads to measurable time and cost efficiencies.
By issuing the waiver, the FAA recognises that Spright has achieved all necessary benchmarks to perform BVLOS flights in a safe and compliant manner.
Obtaining a BVLOS waiver is a lengthy process that requires a complex analysis of internal operations and procedures to ensure total compliance with regulatory standards and requirements.
“Being the first UAS operator in the utility space to receive such a waiver speaks to the professionalism and operational experience of Spright,” ELS CEO Yoav Amitai said.
He said as more drone companies look to obtain a CoW for BVLOS drone operations from the FAA they will need to ensure they have reliable unlimited range connectivity which ELS’s Halo tech provides.
ELS’s Halo delivers unlimited range connectivity for any drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
ELS has partnered with over 70 different drone and UAV manufacturers and operators who are all using the Halo as their connectivity solution.
In many cases they are embedding Halo in the design and proceeding to regulatory certification of their drone with the connectivity solution onboard.
ELS has numerous high-profile customers in the US, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia including DroneUp, SpeedBird Aero and MissionGo!.
With his extensive experience in commercial aviation, newly appointed ELS advisory board member Kevin Hightower recently said ELS provides the foundation for which drone companies can build out.
He said with ELS’s background in the Israeli defence force, where communication is vital, Halo provides drone connectivity that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
“That’s where they really have their strength, with this technology around the communications that’s always connected,” he said.
“It’s something that blows everybody else out of the water, and then on top of that, they have other services built in so that drone manufacturers don’t have to go tackle them from scratch.”
US Senators Mark Warner and John Thune this month introduced the Increasing Competitiveness for American Drones Act of 2023, bipartisan legislation to advance the integration of UAS or drones into the National Airspace System (NAS).
The bill implements recommendations from the FAA BVLOS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) report and mandates that the FAA proceed with publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for BVLOS operations.
The Act also reorganises and aligns UAS integration responsibilities within the FAA by establishing an associate administrator for UAS integration and creating a UAS certification unit, along with re-authorising and expanding scope of the agency’s UAS test site program.
Amitai said the act recognises commercial drone operations provide valuable services and aims to reduce regulatory hurdles enabling the sector to reach its full potential.
“The act is a further sign of the sector maturing in the US and shows the potential for exponential future growth,” he said.
This article was developed in collaboration with Elsight, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.