Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight is a critical component of the advancement of unmanned commercial applications. While France has had legalized BVLOS flight since 2012, most countries and areas of the world are still working towards moving forward with a framework to accommodate BVLOS flight safely. (Learn more about the European perspective on this topic from our recent piece about the Swiss perspective on drone regulations.)
In Norway, North Dakota-based SkySkopes and Robot Aviation Fly have announced successful testing of BVLOS flight for endurance missions.
Matt Dunlevy, the President and CEO of SlySkopes, says the project has big impact for his business and customers. “First and foremost, BVLOS will improve the safety factor that UAS as an industry can provide in lieu of traditional methods across numerous use-cases,” says Dunlevy. “This is the most important aspect of BVLOS to us because our company’s first core value is safety.”
“We also see increased efficiencies and mission viability through the use of UAS flying BVLOS, as we have already in the North Dakota UAS ecosystem, where BVLOS is already being flown in numerous ways on a regular basis. Our company focus in the energy sector is also something we see as reinforced by the scalability and promise of BVLOS.”
“We expect to be able to speak better to timelines for BVLOS in the US, discuss the product improvement potential with clients flying (B)VLOS now, and use the lessons learned in waiver language, among other things,” Dunlevy says.
The following is taken from a SkySkopes press release:
“Through a partnership that spans across the Atlantic Ocean, two industry-leading UAS companies successfully executed Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) commercial operations in Norway and look to bring them to the United States. SkySkopes, the North Dakota-based drone service provider, was drawn to the FX20 manufactured by Robot Aviation for its long endurance capabilities. “SkySkopes has flown BVLOS in numerous countries, including the United States. Flying BVLOS in Norway with Robot Aviation was fantastic and everything we would expect from a world-class operator,” said Matt Dunlevy, President and CEO of SkySkopes.
“We enjoy working with industry leaders such as Robot Aviation and bringing their cutting-edge air frames to Minot, North Dakota.” SkySkopes has some of the most highly-certified pilots in the United States, and welcomed the opportunity to work with foreign Civil Aviation Authorities in order to prove to domestic clients that SkySkopes’ pilots stand ready to take advantage of BVLOS when permitted. “With the FX20, our electric long-endurance aircraft, equipped with detect and avoid technology for quiet and safe operations, Robot Aviation supports SkySkopes with its latest technology for operations in the growing energy sector. Our cooperation with SkySkopes will shortly result in activities for our small-tactical FX10 system, and we hope that the day when our 20 hour endurance FX450 flying in North Dakota is not far away, says Børre Larsen CEO of Robot Aviation.’’ SkySkopes is a
nationally leading professional UAS flight operator focused on bringing innovative solutions to the energy sector. Also the first FAA approved UAS service provider in North Dakota, SkySkopes has grown to several offices across the United States. “.