Unmanned aerial systems company awarded first FAA waiver to fly in North Dakota beyond visual line of sight

uAvionix drone
uAvionix drone(KFYR)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 1:49 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KUMV) - An unmanned aerial systems operator has become the first company to receive federal approval to fly beyond visual line of sight in North Dakota.

Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND) announced that uAvionix was awarded a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones beyond their visual line of sight using the VANTIS network. The company has been flying drones in northwestern North Dakota to help develop and validate the system.

“There’s other commercial companies that are lined up to start onboarding on the VANTIS network, so hopefully this sets up a precedent for others to start applying for similar waivers and build their concept of operations and their use cases on the VANTIS system,” said Cyriel Kronenburg, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships with uAvionix.

During the State of the State Address, Burgum said this is a big deal in making North Dakota a “proving ground” for the UAS industry.

“This approval 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 Burgum.

Kronenburg said they plan on conducting daily flights starting next spring.