Brazil latest in recent lineup of countries to allow some BVLOS flights

Brazil latest in recent lineup of countries to allow some BVLOS flights

Drone flights beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight (BVLOS) tends to make regulators a little nervous — nervous enough to ban most of those types of drone flights. But regulators worldwide are starting to loosen up, and that applies to Brazil, too. Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) in April approved fixed-wing dronemaker senseFly to conduct certain BVLOS flights to be carried out, a first for the country. SenseFly is partnering with drone engineering and consulting specialists AL Drones and geotechnology company Santiago & Cintra to fly their senseFly eBee Classic, eBee Classic RTK, eBee Plus and eBee SQ drones. The eBeeX Current Brazilian drone laws restrict drones to remaining within a 500 m radius of the operator or observer. But now, senseFly is now the first and only company in the country permitted to fly 400 ft in height with a 5 km radius from a licensed pilot or observer. A number of other countries have recently eased up on restrictions around how far drones can fly away from their humans. Europe In 2017, senseFly became the first drone operator to be granted ‘anytime’ BVLOS authorization in Switzerland, and its systems are also approved for BVLOS use in France, Spain and Denmark. Africa Zipline, which operates drones intended to make medical-related deliveries, is flying drones beyond visual line of sight primarily in African countries including Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. North America And huge progress is being made in the U.S., too, home to more than two dozen approved

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AirMap partner Fortem has another new partner, and it’s AirMap’s competitor

Airspace awareness, safety and security Fortem Technologies may have recently announced a partnership with software startup AirMap, but the company on Monday announced another partnership. This one is with AirMap’s competitor. Utah-based drone awareness company Fortem Technologies announced a partnership with unmanned traffic management (UTM) provider Unifly. The two will collaborate to develop a joint airspace safety and security solution intended to build out UTM and U-space architectures. Those products would be intended to be used by public safety officers, military groups and other government agencies to secure airspace around critical infrastructure, airports, stadiums, public venues and more. Both companies are currently working on ways to secure airspaces from rogue drones flying in places they shouldn’t, such as the Gatwick airport incident which was suspected by some to have been caused by a drone. The Unifly BLIP Unifly makes a sensor called the BLIP (Broadcast Location and Identity Platform), which was designed to detect position, altitude, temperature, pressure, speed and direction, when placed directly on a drone. Unifly says that information can be accessed in real-time by authorities, such as police officers or government organizations. The Fortem SkyDome Fortem, meanwhile, designed an AI data platform called SkyDome, to create a digitized version of the airspace above and around infrastructure, venues, events and cities. That digitized airspace can spot unapproved drones. The Fortem SkyDome is already being tested by the Utah Department of Transportation at Salt Lake City Airport. The new partnership would likely lead to a hybrid of the two

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All eyes on Reno, Nevada as drone delivery ramps up

All eyes on Reno, Nevada as drone delivery ramps up

As drone delivery finally starts to gain serious traction in the United States, (largely due to some approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration), look toward Reno, Nevada for some of the most serious progress. Reno, Nevada is one of just 10 state, local and tribal governments selected by the FAA to be a part of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program.  It is also home to the headquarters of drone delivery company Flirtey, which recently secured approval to fly their drones beyond visual line of site at the FAA test site in Reno, Nevada.  The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) is responsible for the management of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site and is one of two FAA-designated UAS Test Sites in the country to lead the NASA UTM TCL 4 and one of three to lead the FAA’sUAS Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP). “The City of Reno will soon advance Urban Air Mobility (UAM) like no other city in the U.S. and…is a key Nevada entity toward developing safe urban drone operations,” according to a prepared statement from drone maker DJI. But drone delivery is about more than just delivering drones. There’s unmanned traffic management (UTM), which is essentially air traffic control for drones. And this month, NASA is flying drones in partnership with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems in Las Vegas in and around downtown Reno, to test out their designs.  “This phase represents the most complicated demonstration of advanced UAS operating in a demanding urban

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Google’s Project Wing, Zipline and more: drone delivery is finally having its moment

Google’s Project Wing, Zipline and more: drone delivery is finally having its moment

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos shook the world in 2013 when he announced on 60 Minutes that the massive retailer would be using drones to deliver packages. The news led to an exorbitant amount of hype around not just drones for delivery, but drones for everything: mapping, saving animals, ending up under your Christmas tree. All that hype turned the idea of drone deliveries into something of a punchline. This morning I ordered myself on Amazon Prime and shipped to my work address. Now I’m waiting outside for my drone. — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 3, 2013 Over the last few years, the hype has slowed down, as all hype waves do. Drone delivery never came as quickly as promised at the scale promised. Amazon still has only carried out an extremely limited drone delivery service. Other companies touted flashy partnerships, such as the headline of the partnership between Flirtey and Domino’s to create the first-ever drone pizza delivery service. The reality was, that drone could only deliver to buildings within 1 mile of a single store in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand. But 2019 may be the year that drone delivery finally has its moment, due in large part to news that the FAA had approved Google’s drone startup, Project Wing, to conduct drone deliveries as a Certified Air Carrier in the U.S. Courtesy Project Wing U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao earlier this month announced that the FAA had awarded the first air carrier certification to Wing Aviation, which already

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No, China is not leading the way in drone development

No, China is not leading the way in drone development

China is not the leading country when it comes to developing drone platforms — but they are No. 2. The No. 1 country in terms of developing the most number of unique drone models is actually the United States. That’s according to a study released by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Danish Technological Institute, based on data collected in November 2018. Courtesy AUVSI The United States leads the way in terms of most number of unique drone models (the U.S. has developed 628 unique drone models). China, which is none for its major drone companies including DJI, PowerVision, Yuneec and Autel, ranks second but only accounts for half as many actual drones, having developed a total of 309 unique drone models. Though that could change. “Developments of consumer platforms appear to be growing in China compared to other parts of the world, (reflecting) the general expansion of the Chinese consumer market for other products as well,” according to the report. Courtesy AUVSI But when it comes to continents with the most drone development, Europe takes the cake. That’s perhaps due to the fact that it has a number of small countries developing drones, including the Baltic country of Latvia, which is home to AirDog, which designs an action-sports drone that “follows-you,” Aerones and AirBoard. Germany and France have also been leaders in the drone industry, home to companies like France’s Delair and Germany’s Skysense, which makes portable drone landing pads. Courtesy AUVSI What’s interesting about

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