FAA grants initial approval allowing BVLOS drone flights in North Dakota Northern Plans test site

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved uAvionix services for beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone flights in North Dakota, leveraging the state’s Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) facility Vantis. uAvionix demonstrated to the FAA that it established adequate risk mitigations to satisfy required safety standards for the specified BVLOS operation within the national airspace system.

The Northern Plains UAS Test Site in North Dakota aims to bring UAS to commercial sectors safely and economically with Vantis which is set for the next phase of operation this summer.

“We are incredibly proud to lead the way in North Dakota with our partners from Vantis and Thales”, said Christian Ramsey, uAvionix President. “Being able to demonstrate much of our ecosystem in approved BVLOS flight is a major milestone for our company, our partners, and the broader aviation ecosystem.”

The Northern Plains UAS Test Site, administering Vantis for the state of North Dakota, partnered with Thales USA to develop and implement Vantis, a UAS system that allows UAS pilots to command and control the UAS and remain well clear of other aircraft when flying beyond visual line of sight. Vantis consists of ground-based aviation infrastructure, like that used in traditional aviation, which significantly lowers the barrier of entry to BVLOS flights for multiple users.

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