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Censys Achieves 100% Approval Rate for FAA BVLOS Waivers

By Mike Ball / 07 Dec 2021

Censys Sentaero BVLOS drone

Censys Technologies has confirmed that it has has helped its commercial drone customers achieve Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) waivers with a 100% approval rate to date. The company has so far secured five approvals in 2021 alone, bringing its total number of approvals to eight. Four additional waivers submitted by the company are also currently under review.

FAA Part 107 regulations impose several restrictions on commercial drone pilots, including a requirement that they maintain visual line of sight (LOS) at all times with any drone they are operating, unless they have a waiver from the agency. Obtaining this waiver is highly challenging, and to date the FAA has approved only 86 – an estimated 1% of all applications. To be approved, a waiver application must outline a detailed and narrow flight plan, and document elements including detection technology, drone tracking, real-time manned aircraft data feeds, safety, and training.

Censys Technologies claims that it owes its success in securing waiver approvals to the firm’s ability to leverage industry expertise and advanced technology, helping to get clients’ aircrafts in the sky quickly and efficiently. The company also makes use of its advanced drone technology, including its Sentaero BVLOS drones.

Sentaero BVLOS drones are equipped with onboard detect-and-avoid (DAA) technology, including a forward-facing Electro-Optical sensor and an ADS-B receiver, allowing pilots to be ahead of the curve when it comes to in-flight airspace deconfliction. The Sentaero can detect both cooperative and uncooperative aircraft, a capability that is critical to the safety component of the BVLOS waiver.

In a recent ASTM Committee meeting, FAA officials publicly stated that these waivers are likely to stay for at least the next 4-5 years, making the waiver approval process even more important.

Trevor Perrott, CEO of Censys Technologies, commented: “With our industry insight, our team has perfected the process of writing these waivers throughout the amendment process. We also have an advantage in that we manufacture drones ourselves. Technology like our Mobile Command Centers introduce human factors to boost safety protocols, which is important to include when drafting a waiver request, as they demonstrate the knowledge and expertise necessary to secure an approval.”

John Lobdell, CTO and Waiver Team Lead, noted: “It is our mission here at Censys Technologies to enable commercial BVLOS. With every waiver we write, we make strides towards more complex and expansive operations. Our outstanding success with BVLOS approvals this year stems simply from practice. We now have a really deep understanding for what the FAA wants in an application from system specifications to mission details.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion 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. Connect & Contact