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Thu, May 11, 2023

FAA Grants Percepto BVLOS Approval Near Critical Infrastructure

First of its Kind Permission Signifies Trust in Companies’ UAV Operations

Percept has been the first to receive a novel BVLOS waiver approving autonomous drone operations at “any critical infrastructure site in the U.S. without anyone on site, or ground-based or detect and avoid systems.”

The announcement is a significant show of faith in Percepto’s operation, showing that the FAA feels confident in allowing the company to extend its autonomous inspection and monitoring services in areas vital to continued service in electricity, connectivity, and fueling. The approval allows Percepto to operate an uncrewed aircraft beyond visual line of sight inside of shielded airspace, without any humans onsite - most importantly, without external detect and avoid systems. The change allows low-risk BVLOS ops 200 feet above and around assets located on ‘critical infrastructure sites’, with an additional 50 feet of altitude allowed at non-critical sites. Percepto says their approval follows a lengthy process proving the accuracy and safety of their flight systems without a separate, local detection apparatus in the immediate vicinity. The change should greatly ease Percepto’s infrastructure inspections going forward, without requiring as much set-up before flight. 

“Percepto is very grateful to the FAA staff for their engagement and consideration of our application for this important waiver,” said Neta Gliksman, Percepto VP of Policy and Government Affairs. “This waiver will help usher in a new era of scalable UAS operations that will benefit the critical infrastructure industry immediately, and in the future, in ways we haven’t even yet imagined.”

“This waiver’s implications for BVLOS UAS operations in the United States are massive,” said Lisa Ellman, outside counsel for Percepto. “The FAA waiver provides scalability to businesses and encourages innovation across the industry, which will yield significant benefits for critical infrastructure facilities and the American people.”

Clients are equally enthused, looking forward to quicker service and more efficient deployments for everyone involved. Danny Allen, Geospatial Intelligence Supervisor at ConocoPhillips, said the system “significantly improves worker safety and efficiency of operations by allowing inspections to occur remotely from anywhere in the United States.” Ladder-free inspections are always welcome on the rig, and Percepto is a great selection to take the danger out of the process from top to bottom.

“The ability to conduct remote BVLOS inspections without humans supervising the system and without the need for costly DAA assets will increase the value of the Percepto system while significantly reduce costs and barriers to BVLOS operations at our critical infrastructure and industrial commercial sites nationwide," said Tim Shanfelt, PMP, Operations Enablement Director, Koch Ag and Energy Solutions.

FMI: www.percepto.co

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