The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a nationwide waiver for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights to a drone-in-a-box solution provider for the first time ever.
The recipient of this waiver is Israel-based Percepto, whose autonomous inspection platform AIM was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021. The Percepto system can now be operated remotely at qualifying sites across the US from day one.
The biggest beneficiaries of the FAA’s decision are expected to be electric utilities, oil and gas companies, solar power stations, and mining sites that use drones to detect infrastructure problems. They will no longer have to endure the long wait time it takes to secure site-specific BVLOS approvals from the FAA.
Koch Industries, which is both a client of Percepto and an investor in the company, says it’s looking forward to the possibilities this national BVLOS waiver presents. Tim Shanfelt, operations enablement leader at Koch Ag and Energy Solutions, says:
This change helps us extract more value from an already important operations system. Percepto’s national BVLOS waiver will enable the expansion of our automated drone inspection and monitoring without the wait for site-specific FAA approvals. The achievement further positions Percepto as the industry leader for monitoring critical infrastructure and serves as a catalyst to making automated drone inspection and monitoring a part of mainstream industrial practices.
Percepto is one of the six drone manufacturers that were selected by the FAA to sit on a committee looking at rules for BVLOS operations last year. Company cofounder and chief commercial officer, Ariel Avitan, is quick to stress that Percepto makes it easier for governments and businesses to implement automated drone operations and unleash the true potential of AI-powered inspections. Avitan says:
Obtaining this waiver marks a significant milestone in our longstanding vision to provide remote inspections and operations at industrial facilities, particularly at isolated locations, with much greater efficiency and safety.