FAA approves stratosphere test flights above Hawaii

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Certificate of Authorisation (COA) to HAPSMobile Inc on 8 August to fly its HAWK30 solar-powered unmanned aircraft in the Hawaiian island of Lanai’s stratosphere. HAWK30 was assembled in April 2019 to provide a stratospheric telecommunications platform system.

HAPSMobile is working with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Hawaii as part of collaborative activity for the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC), which is managed by the Alaskan university. With this COA2, HAPSMobile, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Hawaii plan to carry out test flights at Lanai in fiscal 2019 following safety verifications coordinated with the island authorities and business-related legislation and regulations. The three parties also plan to hold information sessions for community residents to discuss safety considerations and promote understanding of the vision to utilize HAPS in the future. In addition to telecommunications connectivity, HAPSMobile aims to contribute to Lanai in other areas including environmental conservation and agriculture. HAPSMobile is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp in Japan.

(Image: HAPSMobile)

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