Drone com­pa­ny uAvion­ix has received approval by the FAA to con­duct beyond visu­al line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone flights in North Dako­ta.

Lever­ag­ing Van­tis, the US state’s first-of-its-kind UAS net­work, uAvion­ix demon­strat­ed to the FAA that it estab­lished ade­quate risk mit­i­ga­tions to sat­is­fy required safe­ty stan­dards for the spec­i­fied BVLOS oper­a­tion with­in the nation­al air­space sys­tem.

Chris­t­ian Ram­sey, uAvion­ix Pres­i­dent, said: “We are incred­i­bly proud to lead the way in North Dako­ta with our part­ners from Van­tis and Thales. Being able to demon­strate much of our ecosys­tem in approved BVLOS flight is a major mile­stone for our com­pa­ny, our part­ners, and the broad­er avi­a­tion ecosys­tem.”

uAvion­ix was found­ed with the mis­sion of bring­ing safe­ty solu­tions to the unmanned avi­a­tion indus­try in order to aid in the inte­gra­tion of Unmanned Air­craft Sys­tems (UAS) into Nation­al Air­space Sys­tems (NAS). uAvion­ix offers low SWaP TSO cer­ti­fied and uncer­ti­fied avion­ics for Gen­er­al Avi­a­tion (GA), Air­port Sur­face Vehi­cles and the UAS mar­kets.

North Dako­ta leads the way in bring­ing UAS to com­mer­cial sec­tors safe­ly and eco­nom­i­cal­ly with Van­tis. This suc­cess adds to the foun­da­tion that Van­tis has set for the next phase of oper­a­tion this sum­mer and the state con­tin­ues to lead the way for auton­o­my and automa­tion.

Cre­at­ed by North Dako­ta with an ini­tial invest­ment in 2019, Van­tis pro­vides turnkey sup­port to com­mer­cial and pub­lic UAS oper­a­tors through infra­struc­ture and reg­u­la­to­ry approvals allow­ing appli­ca­tions and usabil­i­ty over a vari­ety of indus­tries. In Van­tis and North Dako­ta, Thales deliv­ers an avi­a­tion-grade UAS inte­gra­tion capa­bil­i­ty designed specif­i­cal­ly to com­ple­ment manned avi­a­tion infra­struc­ture while enhanc­ing safe­ty, integri­ty, inter­op­er­abil­i­ty with­in the air­space sys­tem.

Trevor Woods, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor at the North­ern Plains UAS Test Site, said: “Van­tis was designed and imple­ment­ed to serve many drone oper­a­tors across mul­ti­ple sec­tors. This first approval is an impor­tant mile­stone for Van­tis, as a blue­print for wide­spread com­mer­cial BVLOS enable­ment.”

The North­ern Plains UAS Test Site, admin­is­ter­ing Van­tis for the state of North Dako­ta, part­nered with Thales USA to devel­op and imple­ment Van­tis, a UAS sys­tem that allows UAS pilots to com­mand and con­trol the UAS and see and avoid oth­er air­craft when fly­ing beyond the visu­al line of sight. Van­tis con­sists of ground-based avi­a­tion infra­struc­ture, like that used in tra­di­tion­al avi­a­tion, which sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­ers the bar­ri­er of entry to BVLOS flights for mul­ti­ple users.

Frank Matus, Direc­tor of ATC and Dig­i­tal Avi­a­tion Solu­tions for the Amer­i­c­as at Thales USA, the state’s infra­struc­ture part­ner for the Van­tis net­work, added: “We thank the Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion for acknowl­edg­ing that our approach to BVLOS in North Dako­ta main­tains the same safe­ty stan­dards that the agency expects for all users with­in the nation­al air­space. We con­tin­ue to col­lab­o­rate with FAA as reg­u­la­tions evolve to ensure that Van­tis meets the needs of all stake­hold­ers.”