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Special Restrictions: A List of All the Locations Where the FAA Has Established Restrictions on Drone Operations Since Launching the Part 107 Rules

The FAA issued its Small Unmanned Aircraft Rules, or Part 107 rules, back in August of 2016. When the rules first came out they included general restrictions on where sUAS could be flown, including the requirement to obtain permission from the FAA in order to fly in Class B, C, D, and E airspace.

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Since those rules were issued, the FAA has used the authority granted it by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations to establish further restrictions on where drones can be operated, in cooperation with various federal agencies such as the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among others. Some of the sites where these restrictions have been put in place are places like national monuments, prisons, and locations connected to national security, such as military bases and nuclear power facilities.

These restrictions prohibit UAV operations up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the designated site, and completely prohibit flying without special permission (i.e., permission that couldn’t be obtained simply by pursuing a Part 107 waiver)—check out the final section of this article to see what that special permission looks like.

The FAA issued their first list of special restrictions on April 7, 2017, when they announced the establishment of restrictions of drone operations over 133 military facilities. Since then they have made six more releases with lists of new restricted locations.

But when we looked around, we couldn’t find a comprehensive list of all of the announcements the FAA has made, so we wanted to compile them into a single resource to make them a little more approachable.

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What follows is a list of all of the locations where the FAA has established flight restrictions using Title 14, organized by type (Military Bases, Landmarks, etc.), with a link to the original FAA announcement about the new restrictions.

Want to view all of these areas? Check out the FAA’s interactive online map, where you can search for and view all of the areas listed below that have special flight restrictions in place. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app.

A List of Areas Where the FAA Has Established Restrictions on sUAS Flight

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Military Bases

In their very first announcement regarding special flight restrictions issued on April 7, 2017, the FAA announced restrictions for flight near 133 military facilities in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD) and other U.S. federal and security and intelligence agencies.

A list of the actual facilities was not provided in this instance, but in the FAA’s announcement they direct pilots to learn more about them in their interactive online map.

Landmarks and National Monuments

An announcement on flight restrictions for these landmarks and national monument sites was issued by the FAA on September 28, 2017 in partnership with the Department of the Interior (DOI):

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, NY
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston, MA
  • Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Folsom Dam; Folsom, CA
  • Glen Canyon Dam; Lake Powell, AZ
  • Grand Coulee Dam; Grand Coulee, WA
  • Hoover Dam; Boulder City, NV
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; St. Louis, MO
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Keystone, SD
  • Shasta Dam; Shasta Lake, CA

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Read more about the FAA restrictions surrounding landmarks and national monuments in this article we wrote when they were first announced.

DOE Facilities / Nuclear Sites

An announcement on flight restrictions for these DOE facilities and nuclear sites was issued by the FAA on December 18, 2017 in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE):

    • Hanford Site, Franklin County, WA
    • Pantex Site, Panhandle, TX
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
    • Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
    • Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC
    • Y-12 National Security Site, Oak Ridge, TN

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Prisons

An announcement on flight restrictions for these prison sites was issued by the FAA on June 7, 2018 in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

  • United States Penitentiary (USP) Tucson near Tucson, AZ
  • USP Atwater near Atwater, CA
  • USP Victorville near Victorville, CA
  • USP Florence High near Florence, CO
  • USP Florence ADMAX near Florence, CO
  • USP Coleman I near Sumterville, FL
  • USP Coleman II near Sumterville, FL
  • USP Marion near Marion, IL
  • USP Terre Haute near Terre Haute, IN
  • USP Big Sandy near Inez, KY
  • USP McCreary near Pine Knot, KY
  • USP Pollock near Pollock, LA
  • USP Yazoo City near Yazoo City, MS
  • USP Allenwood near Allenwood, PA
  • USP Canaan near Waymart, PA
  • USP Lewisburg near Lewisburg, PA
  • USP Beaumont near Beaumont, TX
  • USP Lee near Pennington Gap, VA
  • USP Hazelton near Bruceton Mills, WV

An announcement on flight restrictions for this prison site was issued by the FAA on June 29, 2018 in partnership with the DOJ:

    • Administrative United States Penitentiary Thomson near Clinton, IL

U.S. Coast Guard and Naval Sites

An announcement on flight restrictions for these U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) sites was issued by the FAA on June 7, 2018 in partnership with the DOJ and DHS:

  • USCG Baltimore Yard, MD
  • USCG Base Boston, MA
  • USCG Base Alameda, CA
  • USCG Base Los Angeles/Long Beach (LALB), CA
  • USCG Base Elizabeth City, NC
  • USCG Base Kodiak, AK
  • USCG Base Miami, FL
  • USCG Base Portsmouth, VA
  • USCG Base Seattle, WA
  • USCG Operations System Center (OSC) near Martinsburg, WV

An announcement on flight restrictions for these USCG and Naval Sites was issued by the FAA on October 26, 2018 in partnership with the DOD and the USCG:

  • Drone operations are required to maintain a distance of at least 3,000 feet laterally and 1,000 feet vertically from vessels operating in the vicinity of Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state.
  • Drone operations are required to maintain a distance of at least 3,000 feet laterally and 1,000 feet vertically from vessels operating in the vicinity of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia.

An announcement on flight restrictions for these Naval sites was issued by the FAA on May 18, 2018 in partnership with the DOD:

  • Naval Support Activity Monterey, Monterey, CA (new)
  • Naval Air Station Kingsville, Kingsville, TX (new)
  • Naval Support Activity Orlando, Orlando, FL (new)
  • Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Indian Head, MD (boundary change)

How can you get permission to fly in these restricted areas?

Although you can’t go through the usual airspace authorization process to obtain permission to fly in these restricted areas, there are still other ways to pursue permission.
Here is what the FAA says about getting permission to fly in these restricted areas in their FAQ:

Are there exceptions for UAS operations to fly in one of these restricted areas?

UAS operations that meet one or more of the requirements listed below may be allowed to operate within the TFR:

  • The UAS flight operation has been pre-approved by the designated facility contact based on criteria established by the sponsoring federal agency in coordination with the FAA.
  • The UAS flight operation is conducted in direct support of an active national defense, homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting, search and rescue, or disaster response mission, and prior notification has been provided to the designated facility contact.
  • The UAS flight operation is conducted in direct support of a significant and urgent governmental interest and is approved by the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) in advance of entering the TFR.

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The post Special Restrictions: A List of All the Locations Where the FAA Has Established Restrictions on Drone Operations Since Launching the Part 107 Rules appeared first on UAV Coach.

DJI Black Friday Sale Starts Sunday, Nov. 18 | List of DJI Black Friday Drone Deals and Price Drops

DJI’s Black Friday sale begins this Sunday, November 18 and will last until Tuesday, November 27.

For those ready to take their first step into aerial photography or thinking to buy a new drone, this is a great time to do so with up to $100 off select DJI drones and drone accessories. DJI has also told customers that they can get additional discounts by participating in a quiz during the campaign period.

For discounted prices on select drones for sale and accessories please refer to the chart below. Use the ‘Shop on DJI.com’ links to access the sales starting this Sunday, or visit them now to bookmark the pages for later. We’re sure these sale drones will go fast!

DJI Black Friday Promotion Pricing Details

ModelDiscountNew Promotional Price USDShop
Spark Fly More Combo$100 off$549 $459Shop on DJI.com
Spark Controller Combo$40 off$399 $359Shop on DJI.com
Mavic Air Fly More Combo$100 off$999 $899Shop on DJI.com
Mavic Air$100 off$799 $699Shop on DJI.com
DJI Goggles RE (Racing Edition)$100 off$549 $449Shop on DJI.com
Osmo Mobile 2$20 off$139 $119Shop on DJI.com
Tello Boost Combo$50 off$149 $99Shop on DJI.com
Tello$20 off$99 $79Shop on DJI.com

DJI Promotional Product Details

The special offer will be available on Spark Fly More Combo, Mavic Air and Mavic Air Fly More Combo, DJI Goggles RE, Osmo Mobile 2 and also the Ryze Tello and Tello Boost Combo toy drone. Learn more about each of the drone models and accessories for sale below.

DJI Black Friday Sale

Spark – The smallest, most fun and easy-to-use mini drone

The Spark is an easy-to-use, fun-to-fly mini camera drone that can lift off from the palm of your hand to capture and share special moments on the go. Available in Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow, the Spark is equipped with intelligent features such as QuickShot and ActiveTrack. Additionally, there is a new ‘Sphere’ mode which you can use to take 360 immersive photos. Spark’s camera can shoot up to 1080p HD videos and 12MP photos with a flight time of up to 16 minutes.

Mavic Air– The most portable camera drone for superior image quality

The Mavic Air is the most portable, foldable camera drone that delivers higher performance, more intelligent features and greater creative possibilities than any other consumer drone. For beginners, QuickShot modes, SmartCapture and 8 GB of onboard storage will make flying drones more fun and accessible. Shooting stabilized 4K video at 30 fps, the Mavic Air is most ideal for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture stunning aerial images on the go. The Mavic Air has a maximum flight time up to 21 minutes.

DJI Goggles RE – Immersive experience and total control in flight modes

The DJI Goggles RE is a first-person view system that will put you in the pilot’s seat to experience the thrill of drone racing like never before. The Racing Edition comes with an external video transmission and camera module for those who want to pair with other fixed-wing and multi-rotor aircrafts. Utilizing a 1/3” image sensor, the OcuSync Camera provides much higher-resolution video transmission than most analog FPV goggles on the market.

Osmo Mobile 2 – Handheld gimbals for the storyteller in all of us

The Osmo Mobile 2 is a smartphone camera stabilizer that captures smooth videos and high-definition panoramas with cinematic movement and incredible ease. DJI’s industry-leading three-axis gimbal technology cancels out movement in three directions so your video stays steady even if your hands shake or wobble, while DJI’s built in SmoothTrack technology detects and compensates for your movement of the camera to ensure a smooth cinematic shot every time. A powerful built-in battery system lets you film for up to 15 hours, more than enough to handle live streams to social platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Tello – Feel the fun

The Tello is a toy drone that balances fun, form and function, with the goal to provide a fun and awesome flying experience for kids and the kid in every adult. Weighing less than 85g with a body that is approximately the size of a smartwatch, it can be activated with a quick toss and return to land in the palm of your hands in a matter of seconds. Tello is also programmable with Scratch, an MIT-developed coding system that allows kids and teens to learn the basics of programming. Kids can program their Tello to string multiple flips into a single command or create their own flight patterns using MIT Media Lab’s easy-to-use block-based coding interface called Scratch.

For more holiday shopping ideas, check out our 2018 Drone Holiday Gift Guide with gift ideas ranging from $20 to $2000.

The post DJI Black Friday Sale Starts Sunday, Nov. 18 | List of DJI Black Friday Drone Deals and Price Drops appeared first on UAV Coach.

DJI Phantom 5 Speculation and Leaked Photos Circulate the Web as Holidays Approach

Thanks to a recent article from News Ledge and some revealing Twitter users, rumors of the DJI Phantom 5 are circulating on the web.

DJI Phantom 5 Leak

There is speculation that this image uploaded to Twitter shows Phantom 5 prototypes. Source: Twitter / @OsitaLV

There’s a reason why DJI fans are eager for a new Phantom release—who doesn’t have a soft spot for the o.g. consumer drone? In 2013 DJI released the Phantom 1, their first ready-to-fly consumer drone. While the early technology left much to wanting, lacking an integrated camera and self-stabilization, the Phantom 1 still captured a loyal band of consumers for DJI. Now, in 2018 DJI has solidified themselves as the world’s leading producer of consumer drones, with a 74% global market share in 2018 according to SkyLogic Research.

Will the Phantom 5 launch before the end of 2018 (if at all)?

Much of 2018 has been dedicated to advancing the DJI Mavic series. We’ve seen three new additions to the line of portable, consumer drones, including the Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, and Mavic 2 Enterprise. Plus, DJI recently upgraded the current Phantom model, Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, with OcuSync 2.0 and RTK. With these recent additions to the DJI line of camera drones, it’s likely that DJI is satisfied with their holiday lineup. It’s hard to imagine they will announce the Phantom 5 before Christmas. But if you’re in the mood to start your holiday shopping, check out this 2018 Drone Holiday Gift Guide.

The leaked images uploaded on Twitter show interchangeable lenses with varying focal lengths, which is something Phantom users have been asking DJI to add to the next Phantom edition. DJI has stated that the drone in the photos uploaded to Twitter is not a Phantom 5 prototype. They claim the images show a modified Phantom 4 Pro drone designed for an enterprise client. Below are some of the images in question.

While we don’t completely buy DJI’s statement, there is some plausibility to their claim. It could be that this is just a one-off customized drone for a client, but why go through all the R&D for just one client while your larger consumer audience has been calling for interchangeable lenses all along?

Possible Release Date for the Phantom 5 | DJI Plans “Because Life is Big” Event

Dates of a possible Phantom 5 release remain up for speculation. However, DJI does have a big announcement planned for November 28th at an upcoming press event in New York. The event is titled “Because Life is Big.” The graphics used to promote the event feature what looks like a zoom lens and an outer space environment.

DJI Event Because Life is Big

Some have speculated that if the upcoming “Because Life is Big” event isn’t for a Phantom 5 release, DJI may announce a new AR/VR related product, such as goggles, instead. What do you think DJI has planned for the “Because Life is Big” event? Sound off in this thread on our community forum.

The post DJI Phantom 5 Speculation and Leaked Photos Circulate the Web as Holidays Approach appeared first on UAV Coach.

Flyability Raises 11 Million, Launches Flyability Labs to Make Autonomous Indoor Inspections a Reality

Today Switzerland-based Flyability announced a successful Series B fundraising round that brought in eleven million dollars, bringing the total amount raised since the company’s launch in 2014 up to sixteen million.

In addition to announcing the results of their Series B fundraising round, Flyability announced the launch of Flyability Labs. The Labs will focus on developing technology that will pave the way for the future of indoor inspections, as well as other related technologies.

Flyability is best known for creating drones that can  continue flying after a crash. Their Elios drone was designed for inspections in tight, potentially dangerous spaces, such as boiler rooms, where collisions may be unavoidable.

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Photo credit: Flyability

The Elios is protected by a decoupled cage, which can absorb the impact from collisions without breaking or affecting the drone’s props. This innovative technology helps remove people from harm’s way by allowing them to conduct inspections without having to be physically present, which is one of the reasons Flyability was selected by UAV Coach as a top drone company to watch in 2018.

About the Series B Investment Round

The funds raised in Flyability’s Series B triples the total amount Flyability has raised since launching in 2014, and indicates a positive outlook from serious players about how the long-term viability of the company is viewed.

Historical investors ETF Partners, GoBeyond, and MKS (Switzerland) SA returned to invest again in the Series B. Notably, the Dow Chemical Company (U.S.) and Swisscom Ventures joined the Series B as first-time investors, further raising the profile of the companies investing in Flyability and the future of indoor inspections.

I see Flyability as the trailblazer in the digital transformation of visual inspections and non-destructive testing of large industrial installations and infrastructure.

– Alexander Schläpfer, Partner at Swisscom Ventures

The capital Flyability raised will be used to fuel the growth of the company by increasing production and expanding its network of partners. Flyability currently has over 350 customers, with over 500 of their drones being used in the field.

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Photo credit: Flyability

The money raised in the Series B will also be used to invest in technology to enable autonomous indoor inspections, which is one of the major projects of the newly announced Flyability Labs.

Flyability Labs

One of the primary focuses of Flyability Labs will be on creating fully autonomous indoor inspections.

As part of this endeavor, Flyability is currently partnered with several other organizations and labs to create an underground UAV inspection solution for the DARPA SubT Challenge. The SubT Challenge seeks novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive combat operations or disaster response scenarios.

Although the SubT Challenge has a special emphasis on defense and security scenarios, the technology developed to address those scenarios will certainly have applications in other, day-to-day situations, with industrial inspections on the top of the list.

YouTube Video

As Flyability has already helped demonstrate, many industries have a need for conducting inspections in hard-to-reach areas. Conducting these inspections regularly, via automation, could potentially both lower costs and increase the likelihood of surfacing problem areas before they grow worse. By launching Flyability Labs, Flyability is making a clear pronouncement that they’ll be doing the R&D necessary to maintain their seat at the table to meet this need.

We intend to streamline the use of drones for predictive asset maintenance, enabling repeated and systematic inspections, easing data capture and localization, and ultimately letting inspector and surveyors focus on the insights while the rest happens automatically.

-Adrien Briod, Flyability CTO and Chairman of the Board

Other projects Flyability will be working on through their new Labs are the development of gas sensors for the Oil & Gas industries that will help detect the presence of specific gases, as well as radiation sensors for use in nuclear power plants.

What do you think about this latest news from Flyability? Chime in on this thread in the UAV Coach community forum to share your thoughts!

The post Flyability Raises 11 Million, Launches Flyability Labs to Make Autonomous Indoor Inspections a Reality appeared first on UAV Coach.

PrecisionHawk Announces 5th Acquisition in 9 Months, Drone Industry Continues To Expand Services to Construction Vertical

Drones are transforming the construction process by decreasing the need for lengthy visual inspections, reducing planning time, and improving worker safety. To build on their construction services, PrecisionHawk has recently acquired Uplift Data Partners—their fifth acquisition in nine months.

Uplift Data Partners is a supplier of turnkey inspection services for construction, building information management (BIM) and real-estate. PrecisionHawk’s prior acquisitions include Droners.io and Airvid. In September it purchased both HAZON, Inc. and InspecTools Inc., which specialize in the delivery of inspection services and technology for the energy industry.

The trend of acquisition and consolidation within the drone industry highlights the rapidly evolving market and the race between entities to build scale and become the market leader.

This acquisition displays PrecisionHawk’s commitment to strengthening our technology and expertise in high-growth markets.

—Michael Chasen, PrecisionHawk, CEO

PrecisionHawk’s acquisition of Uplift comes less than a week after Delair announced their acquisition of Airware. Both PrecisionHawk and Delair are on the path to become market leaders as they continue to grow internally and through acquisitions. Through acquisition, PrecisionHawk and Delair continue to build scale to continue meeting the needs of multiple market sectors, including agriculture, mining, construction, energy, utilities, oil and gas, transportation, security, and emergency services.

Synergy Between PrecisionHawk and Uplift Data Partners

Uplift’s nationwide network of commercially trained drone pilots will join PrecisionHawk’s Droners.io network of over 15,000 drone pilots, one of the largest networks of its kind. Suzanne El-Moursi, CEO of Uplift, will join PrecisionHawk’s executive leadership team managing the company’s construction line of business.

Our mission at Uplift is to support the modernization of the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry by creating tools and training that improve the accessibility of drone services…we are thrilled to join PrecisionHawk, a company that is both aligned to this mission and committed to the growth and expansion of the industry.

—Suzanne El-Moursi, CEO, Uplift

Uplift Data Partners was formed in 2015 as a fully integrated subsidiary of Clayco, one of the nation’s largest architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firms, with more than $2.0 billion in annual revenue. Through the acquisition, Clayco will exclusively source its construction projects to PrecisionHawk, and will serve on PrecisionHawk’s Board of Advisors to support the growth of the company’s services and software in the construction industry.

Adoption of Drone Technology in the Construction Industry

Similar to the energy space, the construction industry has experienced a rapid uptake in the adoption of commercial drone technology. Drones are now one of the leading innovative technologies that are transforming the construction process since they decrease the need for
lengthy visual inspections, reduce planning time, improve worker safety and identify problems.

According to a 2018 report by Skyward, the Construction & Engineering sector of the drone industry has shown the highest rate of adoption of drone technology.

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Implementing drone technology into the workflow of a construction, mining, or aggregates company can add efficiency to otherwise time-consuming and costly tasks. For example, drones can be used to survey large areas and collect accurate data of the landscape of materials present. Software can also process the data onboard the drone or once transferred from a USB card to a computer. Drones can also help with planning work—using a 3D map created with aerial data, a construction company can understand where they can or can’t build, and a mining or aggregate company can identify the locations that are better or worse for digging and storing materials.

Without a drone, information like this has to be gathered manually by surveyors or other personnel walking the entire site on foot, which is both time consuming and less accurate. In 15 minutes a drone can capture the same data that it might take a person walking on foot several hours to collect. Using a drone also means that no one has to enter potentially dangerous areas of a site to collect information. Learn more about drones in construction with our guide to drone jobs in construction.

Increased attention on the construction segment of the drone industry comes with the creation of enterprise drone software and hardware to meet the unique needs of construction workplaces. For example, DJI recently launched the Mavic 2 Enterprise and Phantom 4 RTK to meet the specific needs of enterprise users, including construction and engineering professionals. As drone adoption continues to increase, we expect to see more commercial drone companies expand their offerings for construction professionals.

Through their most recent acquisition, PrecisionHawk feels they are better equipped to provide their customers with best-in-class aerial data and analytics for complex construction and facility inspection projects. As drone adoption continues to grow in the construction segment of the drone industry, commercial drone companies will strive to secure their position as the market leader and go-to provider of drone solutions for construction companies.

The post PrecisionHawk Announces 5th Acquisition in 9 Months, Drone Industry Continues To Expand Services to Construction Vertical appeared first on UAV Coach.

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