Drone services, hardware, and training company Volatus Aerospace has been granted a special certificate by regulator Transport Canada to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) missions without a flight observer.
In the process of obtaining the Special Flight Operations Certificate for BVLOS missions – the first of its kind in Canada, according to the company – Volatus integrated autonomous drone operating system tech by FlightOps Ltd. That remote navigation OS, combined with use of Iris Automation’s ground-based CASIA G Optical Detect and Avoid system, allows Volatus to pilot safe and effective UAV missions which, under the terms of the certificate, won’t require human observers.
Volatus has considerable experience conducting BVLOS flights across Canada, but the special operations certificate will provide it the additional flexibility to begin scaling those activities. The FlightOps OS assists in that by providing high levels of autonomy coupled with cloud connectivity – capabilities Volatus will use in the commercialization of its Aerieport nesting station as part of its broadened BVLOS services.
Volatus says the enlarged capacities will allow it to scale both its visually observed and BVLOS activities. It will also enable deployment of multiple drones in a shared airspace by integrating the autonomous remote OS, and accelerate its plans to offer a greater diversity of services to clients at affordable costs.
“For drone technology to be successful long-term, it needs to improve upon current methods and applications, be affordable, and scalable,” said Glen Lynch, CEO of Volatus Aerospace, calling the earning of the special BVLOS certificate a major drone sector milestone. “This achievement has broken through a major barrier and opened the door to commercial opportunities that have only been dreamed about but until today have been just out of reach. Remote operations beyond visual line of sight are now a reality for Volatus. Commercialization begins now.”
Volatus’s initial operation using the BVLOS certificate will focus on flights of its M300 drone at Canada’s Lake Simcoe Regional Airport. That activity is expected to broaden as the company’s experience and ambitions with such missions increase. As they do, FlightOps CEO Shay Levy says his company is ready to assist Volatus build on its success in earning the special certificate.
“Volatus Aerospace using our software to become the first company certified to operate drones beyond visual line of site in Canada is a proud achievement,” Levy said. “This landmark accomplishment reiterates that the FlightOps OS enables air mobility and scalability for businesses and their respective drone operations. Our software transforms previously unthinkable opportunities into real possibilities that will lead to the commercialization of drone deliveries worldwide.”