Aerial Vantage Gains FAA Approval for Advanced Agricultural Data Collection Flights ​

Washington, D.C. – Aerial Vantage has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval of a waiver allowing it to conduct advanced remote sensing missions using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) over a large ranch in Florida. 

cabbage in field

The Part 107 beyond visual line of sight (BLVOS) waiver will allow Aerial Vantage to fly as high as 1,000 feet, with visual observers ensuring cleared airspace exists beyond the view of the remote pilot. The waiver was developed in collaboration with aircraft partner Censys Technologies and obtained with assistance from the North Carolina Department of Transportation through its participation in the FAA’s BEYOND program. Aerial Vantage is a partner in that program, one of eight teams selected by the FAA to pave the way for routine commercial and government drone use in the National Airspace System.

The implications could be far-reaching once Aerial Vantage can reliably demonstrate safe operations under the waiver.  While operations are currently restricted to flights over the company’s partner ranch in Florida, Aerial Vantage intends to pursue agricultural, emergency response, and infrastructure missions in North Carolina as a BEYOND partner.

Flight operations under this waiver began in early October and are authorized for up to two years. Collecting aerial imagery with drone flights and applying analytics to the imagery will address multiple use cases, from better understanding invasive plant species and pasture renovations to capturing livestock inventories, estimating timber volume, monitoring excavation activities, and counting wildlife.

“This waiver grants us a meaningful change in our ability to provide precision agriculture data on a larger scale to the industry,” said Aerial Vantage Director of Flight Operations Bill Keating, a longtime Marine Corps and commercial aviator.

Outcomes will include proof of concept and flight operations data for small UAS operations up to 1,000 feet and more efficient collection of a large quantity of aerial imagery across large swaths of a working ranch. Integrating drones into the ranching operations and the utility of Aerial Vantage’s Accelerate data management platform, which efficiently ingests, curates, tags, and organizes imagery and flight data, will ease implementation, scaling, and demonstration of a return on investment.

Aerial Vantage, a drone, software, and analytics company headquartered in Washington, D.C., has a multi-faceted vision to lead the industry toward safe, efficient, and economically viable VLOS and BVLOS operations.

Business capabilities include Accelerate, a UAS operations and data management SaaS platform, advanced data analytics, and drone operations as a service.

“As a North Carolina resident, I am excited to fly under this waiver to gain valuable data on agricultural remote sensing operations so the company can eventually bring these types of operations and data gathering to my home state,”

Tom Davis, CEO of Aerial Vantage
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