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FAA Approves Drone as First Responder Program BVLOS Operations for Oswego Police

This allows the police department to operate small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) as a first response to emergency calls, bringing enhanced response times, and safety to the public and officers By Joe Macey / 17 Jun 2024
FAA Approves Drone as First Responder Program BVLOS Operations for Oswego City Police
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The Oswego City Police Department’s Drone as a First Responder (DFR) program has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) without Visual Observers (VOs) using the uAvionix Casia G ground-based detect-and-avoid (DAA) system.

This milestone approval allows the police department to operate small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) as a first response to emergency calls, bringing enhanced response times, situational awareness, and safety to the public and officers.

A key factor in the success of Oswego’s DFR program is the implementation of uAvionix’s Casia G product. Casia G, an advanced DAA solution, provides critical airspace awareness, enabling safe BVLOS operations. The integration of Casia G ensures that Oswego’s drones can operate safely and effectively without the need for human Visual Observers, enhancing the overall efficiency of their response to emergencies. 

Chris Baker, Systems Administrator and Drone & Robotics Coordinator for Oswego City, NY, said; “We wouldn’t be celebrating this milestone today without the unwavering support of the Mayor and Common Council, whose dedication to public safety has paved the way for this groundbreaking initiative. Additionally, our gratitude extends to UVT and uAvionix for their invaluable assistance throughout this journey, underscoring the collaborative spirit driving innovation in public safety.”

Jon Damush, uAvionix CEO, said; “The achievement marks a pivotal moment for police departments, emergency services, and fire departments nationwide.

“The use of our Casia G product in Oswego’s DFR program exemplifies how advanced technology can enhance public safety operations. Future approvals for Police, EMS, and Fire departments adopting the same approach are expected, paving the way for widespread adoption of DFR programs across the United States.” 

DFR programs are revolutionizing the way police departments respond to emergencies. By deploying drones equipped with advanced surveillance and communication technologies, police can gain immediate situational awareness of an incident scene before officers arrive. For example, a drone may be able to confirm or refute the possession of a firearm or allow the captain to give guidance to a junior officer. This capability not only enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of police response but also helps in allocating resources more strategically.

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