Drones are selling like hotcakes but there’s one “big, bad wolf” that’s causing problems: the FAA. The Federal Aviation Administration still has a bunch of rules for drone operations, one of which stipulates that an UAV can’t fly beyond the ground pilot’s visual line of sight. But one lucky startup called PrecisionHawk received an exemption #actionmagic
The exemption came in the same day that the FAA implemented Part 107 rules that dictate the way in which businesses can use small drones (up to 55 pounds). So what makes PrecisionHawk special? First of all, they don’t manufacture drones for mere amusement. Their fixed-wings unmanned vehicles serve agricultural objectives; moreover, DataMapper, their cloud-based software analyzes aerial images to help clients figure out easily what needs to be done.
“In agriculture, now that we have an exemption to fly beyond the visual line of sight, we can fly an entire farm, not just one field, efficiently”, says PrecisionHawk EVP Thomas Haun. The one small step for FAA became a giant leap for the startup! That doesn’t mean they have green light in all areas, though. The company still has to avoid flying over people, never take off after sunset and so on.
The first part is easily done through a smart safety system. Instead of relying on operators with FPV footage, PrecisionHawk makes use of a low altitude traffic system with data supplied by Harris. This makes the whole process automatic, saving time and resources.