Aeryon Labs Inc., manufacturer of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), is the first Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) sUAS provider to be granted statewide approvals by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for research and public safety applications. Kansas State University Salina (KSU) and the Michigan State Police (MSP) have been granted authority to use Aeryon sUAS throughout their respective states.
As well, the first nationwide FAA Section 333 Exemption approval was recently granted to VDOS Global LLC (VDOS), to use the Aeryon SkyRanger to provide inspection services, on- and offshore throughout the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. The Aeryon SkyRanger is now permitted to fly within all 83 counties in Michigan State to assist state police with traffic accident reconstruction, search and rescue and other law enforcement operations.
An amendment to their FAA Section 333 exemption, to use the Aeryon SkyRanger for inspection of offshore oil rigs, now enables VDOS to perform on- and offshore infrastructure inspections in all 50 states, for their clients in the oil and gas industry. The Aeryon SkyRanger is able to safely acquire high resolution, accurate imagery of flare stacks and other components, which are otherwise difficult, dangerous, and expensive to collect using traditional methods.
While the FAA has recently established an interim policy to speed up airspace authorizations for certain commercial unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators who obtain Section 333 exemptions, the approval given to VDOS enables them to fly above the 200 ft. limit specified in the new ‘blanket’ COA. The public safety and research applications such as those performed by MSP and KSU remain subject to the COA process, which is also separate from this recent announcement.
Related: FAA News