PACI Assists USI in FAA Special Airworthiness Certification for BVLOS

Henderson, NV April 16, 2019 – With daily efforts being made all across the United States to push the boundaries of technology for aerospace and the advancements of innovation, two Henderson companies, Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. (PACI) and Unmanned Systems Inc. (USI), have established another milestone for the industry and for the state of Nevada.

Sandstorm UAS (Stock image provided by USI)

USI, a premier leader in unmanned aerial systems and partner of PACI, became the first Nevada manufacturer to receive a Special Airworthiness Certificate (SAC) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under its new procedures, which designates authority to Unmanned Air System (UAS) Test Sites for SAC review and guidance. “The approval of BVLOS for Sandstorm was needed to allow continued development and expansion into National Airspace.  This is a significant accomplishment for USI,” said Don Bintz, President of USI.

PACI, a business cluster providing robotics and unmanned system solutions, hosted the FAA Certification team as the NY UAS Test Site affiliate for the West Coast. Southern Nevada and PACI have been an extension of the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport since 2016, and PACI’s business connections provides an introduction to the Searchlight Airpark, a 1200- square miles of commercial U-Space that is currently the location of Flight Safety International’s Unmanned Systems Training courses, multiple Part 107 BVLOS Waivers and the UTM Pilot Program test flights for this summer. With the network and facilities of PACI, they continue to be one of the nation’s leaders in providing the amenities and capabilities to satisfying many industry standards for testing of UAS research and development. “The Eldorado Valley has been the home of innovation in UAS airspace for commercial BVLOS operations. We started the nation’s first commercial droneport in 2015 and expanded our testing corridor to include Searchlight Airpark in 2017,” explained Jonathan Daniels, PACI’s CEO and the Airport Manager for Searchlight.

In addition, with PACI’s assistance, this has been the first civil Certificate of Authorization (COA) issued in the state of Nevada since December 2014 and the first COA issued for BVLOS along the 38-mile Eldorado Skyway between Searchlight and Boulder City. Furthermore, this COA is the first to be issued for an aircraft greater than 55 lbs. This includes aircrafts like the Sandstorm ™ UAS, initially built in 2009, the turbine-driven propeller aircraft has an 8-foot fuselage, a 15-foot wingspan and weighs almost 75 pounds, now an electric version is being processed for certification.

“This is a significant improvement to training as it will allow USI & PACI to train Remote Split Operations using Sandstorm and Longshot.  We will begin procedural development immediately and conduct flight testing through the summer.  Our goal is to conduct operations on Land, Air and Water – remotely,” said Mr. Bintz. Mr. Daniels was equally optimistic about the future: “As shown by recent regulatory progress by the DOT and FAA, unmanned aircraft certification will be a key component of large-scale commercial enterprise. We look forward to seeing the next round of certification projects in the coming weeks.”

About Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.

Founded in 2011, PACI is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business based in Southern Nevada. The company’s mission is to develop practical solutions for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) robotics and unmanned systems (UxS) using a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise, and unique partnerships, PACI develops and operates laboratory and field facilities for autonomous systems research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training. For more information about Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc., visit its website at www.praxisaerospace.com.

About Unmanned Systems, Inc.

Unmanned Systems Incorporated is a Small, Women Owned, Native American Business involved in Training, Testing and Developing Unmanned Aircraft. USI has been conducting Unmanned Aircraft Systems operations globally since 2003. For further information visit our website at www.usi.aero.

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