Volatus receives FAA approval, commercial agricultural operations span N America

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Volatus Aerospace for commercial agricultural aircraft operations using drones. The operating certificate, issued under FAA Part 137, integrated with an exemption received in September 2023, allows the company’s US subsidiary, Volatus Aerospace USA, to operate any drone approved for agricultural operations, including drones weighing 55 pounds (25kg) or greater.

Volatus currently generates revenue from the agricultural sector through the sale of equipment and provision of data services relating to crop management. The addition of the operating authority for heavy agricultural spray drones allows Volatus to offer farmers the ability to capitalize on the benefits of precision spraying while Volatus ensures regulatory compliance and safety. By simplifying the process, this solution is expected to increase revenues from the sale, charter, or operational support of agricultural drones in addition to providing recurring revenue resulting from the operation, management, and maintenance of these drones. In effect, Volatus becomes the aerial partner to its agricultural customers, says the press release.

In addition, this FAA Operating Authority in the United States, combined with Volatus’ special flight operating certificate in Canada (May 2023), allows the company to offer these services to large scale clients in agriculture and forestry throughout North America. “By continuing to align our drone operations with our commercial aircraft and helicopter operations, we are building confidence with global regulators,” said Glen Lynch, CEO of Volatus. “This has allowed Volatus to obtain numerous special approvals for operations requiring Beyond Visual Line of Sight flights, higher altitude flights, and heavier aircraft operations not currently covered by today’s regulations both in Canada and the United States. Each authority allows us to increase our service offering and generate greater revenues using advanced drone technology.”

According to a recent Markets and Markets report, the agricultural drone market size is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 31.5% between 2023 and 2028, reaching a value of $17.9 billion by 2028 from a projection of $4.5 billion in 2023. Drones are used in various applications of agriculture, such as precision farming.

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