FAA issues four-year waiver for flights over people in North Dakota

US North Dakota’s Department of Transport Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Pilot Program took a step forward when the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department secured a four-year waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate flights over people from June 2019. The law enforcement department currently operates five drones which carry out emergency response activities, surveillance, and documenting crime scenes. The waiver applies to DJI drone equipped with ParaZero SafeAir parachute recovery equipment.

North Dakota is one of 10 participants in the US Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The programme provides an opportunity for local governments to partner with private sector entities to accelerate safe integration with unmanned aircraft systems. The programme is helping the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and FAA to create new rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations. Since May 2018, the state of North Dakota has invested approximately USD77 million in the programme to advance UAS research and development to diversify the state’s economy according to Governor Burgum.

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