First Approval for Fully Autonomous Drone Flights in Europe Granted

Published: 04 Feb 2019

Azur Drones Skeyetech system

Azur Drones, a developer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance applications, has announced that it has received the first and to date the only approval from the French Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) for its fully-automated Skeyetech drone system – which takes off from a docking station and requires no remote pilot. This specific approval is unprecedented, since any authorized flight scenario in France requires a qualified pilot, and is also the first such approval granted in Europe.

Skeyetech drones can fly Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS), day or night, in urban areas, under simple supervision of a remote operator. With this unique approval, the system will be directly operated by a security guard with no pilot license. The drone will thus be used to patrol an area or provide valuable aerial insights in case of an alarm.

“We are very proud of this approval which rewards an 18-month close collaboration with DGAC services. Our system had to comply with the civilian aviation authorities’ requirements in terms of safety, reliability and quality. A process that was obviously very demanding due to the fully automated character of our system,” explained Stéphane Morelli, Azur Drones Managing Director.

“This unprecedented approval is a landmark event for professional civil drones,” added Jean-Marc Crépin, Azur Drones CEO. “Azur Drones unlocks huge markets that are currently restrained by the complexity of common drone solution implementation. Unlike standard piloted solutions, our systems are easy-to-use, operational 24/7, precise and reliable.”

The company aims to make autonomous drones a standard in the security market, in France and overseas. Azur Drones is already under discussions with other authorities in order to get similar approvals in several other countries.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.