PACI, Inc is very proud to represent Technology/Network Infrastructure interests as a member of the newly-announced Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).
PACI was one of the first eight companies to receive a Part 31/33 Waiver enabling commercial BVLOS flight operations.
The BVLOS ARC is chartered to help the Federal Aviation Administration develop a regulatory path for routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations. This rulemaking committee will consider the safety, security and environmental needs, as well as societal benefits, of these operations.
Montréal, 1 March 2021 – During its ongoing 222nd Session, the ICAO Council today adopted new and amended Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) driving important progress on the international safety and interoperability of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).
The new provisions will become effective on 12 July 2021, and applicable as of 26 November 2026. The most important pertain to Annex 8 — Airworthiness of Aircraft to the Chicago Convention, and cover certification requirements for remotely piloted aeroplanes and helicopters, in addition to the remote pilot stations (RPS) they are operated from.
The latest RPAS progress required minor modifications to Annexes 1 (Personnel Licensing) and 2 (Rules of the Air) of the Convention, and will eventually be supported by more substantial Annex 2 changes already in development. Previous Annex 1 Standards adopted by the Council in 2018 introduced a regulatory structure for the issuance of remote pilot licences for applicability as of November 2022.
American Robotics, a leading developer of fully-automated commercial drone systems, today became the first company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate automated drones without human operators on-site.
The company’s Scout System™ features advanced acoustic Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) technology that enables its drones to maintain a safe distance from other aircraft at all times. By developing a layered, redundant system of safety that includes proprietary technical and operational risk mitigations,
After numerous flights at Searchlight, including under an Experimental Category Special Airworthiness Certificate and using the Praxis BVLOS 107.31/33 Waiver, American Robotics has proven that its drone-based aerial intelligence platform operates safely in the National Airspace System (NAS), even when it conducts flights Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) of the operator.
US-based MissionGO, a provider of unmanned aviation solutions, and Nevada Donor Network, an organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the state of Nevada, have announced two successful test flights carrying a human organ and tissue via a UAS on 17 September, 2020.
Longest organ delivery via UAS
The second flight, which delivered a research kidney from the Searchlight Airport (1L3) to a location outside of the town of Cal-Nev-Ari, marked the longest organ delivery flight in UAS history. This flight surpassed the distance of a historic flight in April 2019 when MissionGO team members Anthony Pucciarella and Ryan Henderson, in their roles at the University of Maryland UAS Test Site and in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center, delivered the first kidney by UAS that was then successfully transplanted into a patient.
Fly as a public aircraft operation (PAO) – for law enforcement, first responders, or other public safety/government officials
When considering your options, be sure to remember that:
Delivering goods by drone is allowed under part 107 (sUAS rule) as long as you maintain visual line-of-sight with the drone and comply with all aspects of the rule
Never carry hazardous materials unless you’ve received authorization from the FAA
Drone operators needing to fly in controlled airspace that is not currently included in LAANC, or a disaster temporary flight restriction, must contact the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) by emailing 9-ATOR-HQ-SOSC@faa.gov.
Whatever operational path you take, the FAA strongly recommends you coordinate with local government and/or public health officials, and/or the community you are intending to serve, before flying in support of COVID-19 response efforts. This is a pre-requisite for the FAA to expedite approvals outside of normal processes.
The FAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed. The FAA’s UAS Support Center is also available to help if you have questions at 844-FLY-MY-UA or email@example.com.
The D&R testing is comprised of test hours and cycles fully representative of desired operating state operations. The D&R testing must also include verification of all operational limits and the entire aircraft flight envelope to ensure testing thoroughly encompasses the possible conditions that will be encountered in service.
D&R Test Hour Requirements
Population density (people per square mile)
Baseline configuration (flight hours)
Reduced probability of injury configuration <30% AIS 3 or greater injury (flight hours)
Up to 100 (Rural)
Up to 3000
Up to 7000
Up to 10,000
Up to 14,000
Up to 20,000
As a rule, the D&R testing must demonstrate safe flight across the entire operational envelope and up to all operational limitations, for all phases of flight and all aircraft configurations.
Applicants will only be certificated to fly within limitations that have been fully demonstrated in test. For example, the D&R testing must encompass the most adverse weather conditions (wind, temperature, density altitude, precipitation, etc.) for which certification is sought.
Environmental conditions should also be considered, such as humidity, sand, dust, salt, particulates or foreign objects that could be ingested such as insects, etc. Additionally, D&R testing should take place in an operationally representative radio frequency and electromagnetic environment to the extent possible.
With 300+ days of flying weather a year, PACI can support Applicants seeking a Determination of Reliability (with third-party oversight) and our affiliated UAS DAR can assist in obtaining operating approval and permission to fly for the needed limitations.
Paul Snyder, director of the UND Aerospace UAS Program, is a member of the ASTM International committee that developed standards for drone operation and maintenance as a joint program with Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Inc. He noted that receiving ASTM’s stamp of approval is important for UND’s UAS students, but also offers the potential to train UAS operators for industry.
You can read the original UND press release here. You can read more about the ASTM-PAVI UAS Approved Training Provider program here.
FAA and several industrial partners have successfully concluded real-world
testing of unmanned traffic management systems for integrating drones into
airspace in the USA. “The Eldorado and Piute 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.
The FAA operational tests were part of a program called the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP) launched in 2017 and conducted at sites in Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia. The UPP aims to help determine the services and capabilities UTM must provide to support extended and enhanced drone operations in the future.
PACI interns from the University of Nevada- Las Vegas, certified through AUVSI’s Trusted Operator Program™ and acting as Remote Pilots-in-Command, used the ANRA Technologies DroneUSS™ software platform to coordinate with the other participants of the UPP during operations on the Searchlight Airpark. Nevada’s senior Congresswoman, Dina Titus, later commended their work during the VIP Demo day at the end of the UPP.
UTM software platform for UPP and
see this as a steppingstone to more advanced drone operations at Searchlight
Airpark,” stated Brent Klavon, VP of Operations at ANRA Technologies.
During the last two weeks of July, several companies
from around the country converged on the Searchlight Airpark to test
Ground-based Detect and Avoid systems with both VLOS and
Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS). These test flights were overseen by a PACI
Remote-Pilot-In-Command using PACI’s Part 107 BVLOS within the Piute Valley.
AirMap provided the PACI operations control center with a real-time operating
picture of the airspace for both manned and unmanned aircraft using their
proven UAS Service Supplier (USS) platform, in a similar manner as to recent
demonstrations with the Virginia UPP, and using ASTM standards in California
“We’re offering the UAS industry
a one-stop-shop operation,” said Daniels. “With our full-service facility in
Henderson, our customers are able to integrate system components right into
their new or existing aircraft and then test fly at our FAA UAS Test Range just
a few miles down the road. Our goal was to develop a droneport where new or
existing customers could utilize our capabilities to support their project
without the expense of building up the capability internally or organically- in
the same manner that legacy aviation does with traditional airports.”
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) response 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. Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.
currently serves over 20 clients with military, public and civil
robotics/unmanned systems across the globe.
About ANRA Technologies
ANRA Technologies is a provider of end-to-end solutions for
UAS operators and airspace managers. ANRA has developed two software platforms
for commercial UAS operations. One platform is for UAS traffic management
(DroneUSS™) and the other is for orchestrating workflow (DroneOSS™). Both
platforms have been rigorously tested and vetted by the world’s foremost government
aviation entities and are operational today at multiple test sites, commercial
enterprises and UAS Corridors.
ANRA’s software platform supports a myriad of UAS through a
cloud-based architecture to enable airspace organization and management, flight
awareness, and strategic deconfliction while supporting stakeholder interfaces
and integrations. ANRA Technologies has been working on collaborative UTM
research and deployments with regulators and Air Navigation Service Providers
(ANSP) in United States, United Kingdom, Europe as well as South America.
On the third day of the highly successful North Carolina Drone Summit, a group of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) experts took the stage to discuss what the future of urban air mobility might look like. The panel took questions from an audience eager to learn more about the state of the technology and about the different alternatives available to drone operators today.
Members of the panel were:
Jonathan Daniels (Moderator), CEO Praxis Aerospace
Phillip (Phil) Hall, CEO RelmaTech Ltd. (UK)
Brent Klavon, VP Operations, ANRA Technologies
Laurent Huenaerts, General Manager UNIFLY
Matthew Satterley, Head of Federal Policy and Government Affairs, AIRMAP