BISMARCK, North Dakota—Leveraging Vantis, the state’s first-of-its-kind UAS network, uAvionix, a drone company, received approval by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct beyond visual line-of-sight drone flights in North Dakota.
UAvionix demonstrated to the FAA it established adequate risk mitigations to satisfy required safety standards for the specified BVLOS operation within the national airspace system.
“This first-of-its-kind approval for our partners is a critical step that validates our state’s investment and years of work to bring UAS aircraft to commercial sectors in a safe and economic way,” said North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. “Other states are reaching out to us as a national leader in UAS.”
“We are incredibly proud to lead the way in North Dakota with our partners from Vantis and Thales,” said Christian Ramsey, uAvionix president. “Being able to demonstrate much of our ecosystem in approved BVLOS flight is a major milestone for our company, our partners, and the broader aviation ecosystem.”
The Northern Plains UAS Test Site, administering Vantis for the state of North Dakota, partnered with Thales USA to develop and implement Vantis, a UAS system that allows UAS pilots to command and control the UAS and see and avoid other aircraft when flying beyond the visual line of sight. Vantis consists of ground-based aviation infrastructure, like that used in traditional aviation, which significantly lowers the barrier of entry to BVLOS flights for multiple users.
“Vantis was designed and implemented to serve many drone operators across multiple sectors,” said Trevor Woods, executive director at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. “This first approval is an important milestone for Vantis, as a blueprint for widespread commercial BVLOS enablement.”