North Dakota Reports Another Waiver for Flight Over People With a Drone Parachute

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The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) announced today that the agency has received a four-year waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) over people: specifically, for a DJI Mavic 2 series equipped with a ParaZero SafeAir parachute recovery system.

FAA approved the waiver and UAS operations over people as part of North Dakota’s (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) which is designed to help FAA create new regulations that will enable the safe and secure integration of UAS (drones) into the national airspace systems.

It’s an exciting step forward for flight over people, as this is the latest in several waivers granted for drones equipped with the ParaZero SafeAir parachute system, which can meet new federal ASTM standards for drone parachutes.

“What’s so exciting is that there is now a clear path of getting a waiver for UAS flights over people,” according to Nicholas Flom, Executive Director of the NP UAS TS. “Now anyone with a DJI Mavic 2 can order a parachute and submit a waiver to fly over people. That was practically unheard of, until now.”

“Safety is a critical aspect in increasing UAS’ legal flight envelope. We are honored that NDDOT is the first to secure a waiver for flight over people with our new ASTM F3322 compliant SafeAir Mavic,” says Avi Lozowick, Vice President of Policy and Strategy at ParaZero.

The following is a press release from the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.

Grand Forks, ND – The Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NP UAS TS) provided third-party validation to a UAS parachute recovery system which has been used to successfully acquire a 14 CFR Part 107.39(a) waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permitting flights over people.

This third-party validation was provided for ParaZero’s SafeAir Mavic, a smart parachute system that monitors UAS flight in real time, identifies critical failures, and autonomously triggers a parachute. As the third-party testing agency, the NP UAS TS verified over 45 aerial deployment tests in various failure scenarios in accordance with the ASTM Standard Specification for Small Unmanned Aircraft System Parachutes F3322-18. Compliance with this ASTM standard specification is designed to support an applicant in obtaining a waiver from the FAA for operations of people.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation was the first organization to receive a waiver using the third-party validated SafeAir Mavic parachute.

“What’s so exciting is that there is now a clear path of getting a waiver for UAS flights over people,” according to Nicholas Flom, Executive Director of the NP UAS TS. “Now anyone with a DJI Mavic 2 can order a parachute and submit a waiver to fly over people. That was practically unheard of, until now.”

The process of acquiring a 14 CFR Part 107.39(a) waiver is both repeatable and scalable. In the role as a third-party testing agency, the NP UAS TS is a key part of providing a clear path to receiving a complex waiver. The success of not only testing the parachute, but also seeing the validation accepted in securing a waiver, establishes the NPUASTS as the premier third-party testing agency for validation of the ASTM standard for other parachute recovery systems.

To learn more about the ParaZero ASTM Professional Kit click here.



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