Spright secures FAA approval to fly beyond visual line of sight non-geospecific utility inspections

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded drone operator Spright a nationwide, non-geospecific Certificate of Waiver (CoW) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations. The CoW allows small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) to travel up to four nautical miles for critical utility infrastructure surveys.

The Spright press release explains: BVLOS refers to a critical capability to fly drones further than what is visible to the human operator, depending on the landscape and terrain. As part of a broader drone program, BVLOS operations enable electric utility companies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of long-linear inspection and vegetation management activities. BVLOS operations also allow companies to perform more frequent and demand-responsive inspections, leading to a maintenance model that better predicts and helps to decrease the risk of outages and interruptions.

Obtaining a BVLOS waiver is a lengthy process that requires a complex analysis of internal operations and procedures to ensure total compliance with regulatory standards and requirements. Established as the UAS division of Air Methods, Spright leverages its aviation foundation to operate at the highest level of safety and professionalism. By issuing this waiver, the FAA recognizes that Spright has achieved all necessary benchmarks to perform BVLOS flights in a safe and compliant manner.

Spright’s BVLOS services are available as part of a comprehensive UAS inspection solution or as a standalone service for utility companies looking to increase the long-range capabilities of their existing drone program.

“Spright is proud to have earned the FAA’s first non-geospecific BVLOS waiver for utility inspection, and we believe it is testament to our aviation-minded culture that puts safety at the center of everything we do,” said Joe Resnik, president of Spright. “Moving forward, Spright customers will have access to the most advanced and versatile inspection solutions in the industry, resulting in a more effective maintenance model that leads to measurable time and cost efficiencies.”

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