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.”