Israeli drone provider Airobotics this week announced receiving the FAA’s first ever three-prong certificate of waiver for “flying Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) for automated drone operations, over human beings, with a visual observer that is not required to keep a visual line of sight on the drone.”
The waiver will allow the company to operate drones from its Remote Operations Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. In September, Airobotics launched its North American headquarters in Scottsdale and will operate all North and South American operations from the facility. BHP, the world’s largest mining company, is Airobotics’ first customer in the U.S.
Airobotics CEO Ran Krauss explains:
“We recently opened our U.S. headquarters in Arizona and this latest certification opens the gateways to offering American mining companies, seaports, major construction projects, and in the future smart cities, an optimal means of increasing efficiency and safety while decreasing operational costs. As our unique pilotless drone technology and industrial grade platform continues breaking new ground, we are able to provide customers with a more accurate and frequent data-driven solution that is the only one of its class in the industry.”
He added, the company plans to use the waiver mostly for mining operations. In May, Airobotics struck an exclusive deal with mining engineering firm RockBlast to deploy the fully autonomous drones to mining sites in Chile.
“When deciding where to launch our first US office, Arizona was the top choice for us as it has a strong mining industry, great weather conditions for drone testing, and potential partners we’re excited to work with,” Krauss said in September. “The state and local governments are very supportive of autonomous and aviation technologies and the UAV industry specifically, aligning with our plans to operate [BVLOS] in the U.S.”
Airobotics was recently honored by The Wall Street Journal as one of Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch in 2018 and as one of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company. The company received Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 Global New Product Innovation Award and the 2017 Edison Award for innovation and excellence as well.