Drone service provider, Aerial Production Services (APS) has partnered with Iris Automation to reduce permission waiting time for pipeline inspections with drones. APS was able to cut beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) waiver approval time from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by six months using Iris’ Regulatory Resource Center (RRC) – an aviation policy consulting package supported by online services.
This new approval allowed APS to shift from expensive satellite and airplane-based inspections to drones, reducing the reporting of critical leaks to just four days instead of four weeks. Without BVLOS approval, commercial drone operations are limited by VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) rules, which severely restrict the distances they can cover.
APS’s BVLOS waiver application was built using Iris Automation’s Regulatory Resource Center (RRC), providing a risk assessment, mitigation and CONOP package for BVLOS flights. The RRC provides a structured workflow to help address regulatory and safety concerns that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) require, with an online portal to build, test, and audit complex and advanced operational approvals supported by a team of UAS regulatory experts.
The waiver granted to APS allows for point-to-point pipeline inspections using Visual Observers (VOs) and a DJI Matrice aircraft for an area outside of Manning, North Dakota covering over six square miles. APS can now report leaks in four days instead of the four weeks it was before, while using just a two-person crew covering three times the distance previously possible. This in turn has increased the frequency of inspections.
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