FAA approves University of Alaska Fairbanks and Insitu for BVLOS and nighttime drone flights

FAA approves University of Alaska Fairbanks and Insitu for BVLOS and nighttime drone flights

Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) — partners in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) — have received FAA approval for routine unmanned beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) test flights in Alaska.

BVLOS and nighttime drone flights

The UAF Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) is working with Insitu and other partners to safely test and fly BVLOS flights as well as nighttime flights to help integrate UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS), at or below an altitude of 400 feet.

“This flight approval from the FAA underscores the confidence that the agency has in the UAF ACUASI, Insitu and the IPP partners,” said Esina Alic, Insitu president and chief executive officer in a press release. “We now collectively have the opportunity to demonstrate our BVLOS capabilities, as well as 24/7 linear infrastructure monitoring, starting with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System,” she continued. “These test flights will prove our technologies, and will aid the FAA in creating new regulations for UAS flying BVLOS in the National Airspace System.”

“Working together with Insitu and our various partners, we are confident that we will be achieving new UAS capability thresholds,” said ACUASI Director Catherine Cahill. “We are excited that Insitu and the ScanEagle® UAS will be a part of those achievements.”

Photo: ScanEagle launch for test flight at Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska.


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