Iris Automation and MVT secure approval for BVLOS flights in Canadian RPAS test range

Transport Canada has issued a Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) to MVT Geo-solutions in partnership with Iris Automation using only Detect-and-Avoid (DAA). The approval was granted based on the utilization of Iris Automation’s DAA system, called Casia, which provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance maneouvres.

The waiver permits flights within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence’s controlled airspace Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) test range in Alma, Quebec. This is the first BVLOS flight at the location leveraging only onboard DAA for air risk mitigation, and does not require ground-based observers or radar. BVLOS flights unlock autonomous drone use for economically beneficial commercial applications including infrastructure inspection, mining, mapping, agriculture, emergency response, and package delivery.

“The UAS Center of Excellence is looking forward to leveraging Iris Automation’s industry-leading DAA system and existing flight expertise within our network to conduct BVLOS flights with MVT Geo-solutions,” said UAS Center of Excellence Director William de Keiser. “We will continue to develop our partnership with Iris Automation to provide training to local operators and enable BVLOS flights in Canada.”

The first BVLOS flights are scheduled to take place within weeks. The resulting data will inform more complex BVLOS operations in the future.

Iris Automation CEO Alexander Harmsen said the approval follows multiple permissions the company has already received from regulators in the US and South Africa. “This technology is critical to safely integrate drones into the airspace along with manned-aircraft, and we look forward to unlocking commercial operations for our customers in Canada.”

(Image: Iris Automation)

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