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NC DOT Wins FAA Waiver for Remote, BVLOS Ops at Construction Sites

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NC has been a leader in advancing drone operations.  Now, the NC DOT announces an FAA waiver to remotely launch and fly drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to inspect the agency’s construction projects.

The Department will use a drone dock, or drone-in-a-box, solution from US drone manufacturer Skydio.  NC DOT will place weather proof drone stations on sight at construction projects across the state, using them to remotely monitor the sites and provide progress reports to stakeholders.

The waiver will help the agency to realize the value of drone imagery at a greater scale, with lower costs.

“This FAA waiver allows us to monitor project sites from anywhere, anytime, without the need for drone pilots to drive to sites and set up drone systems to capture and stream images,” said Becca Gallas, director of the NCDOT’s Division of Aviation, which manages the agency’s use of drones. “That will save time and money and increase the safety of our employees by removing the risk associated with this fieldwork.”

This latest FAA waiver follows a 2020 waiver that allowed NCDOT to become the nation’s first state transportation agency to inspect bridges using drones beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot.

NCDOT Division of Aviation is piloting the use of docked drones with the private firm Skydio, one of 18 partners in its BEYOND program. NCDOT is one of eight U.S. teams testing and demonstrating how drones can be safely used for business and government purposes to inform the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulation of these rapidly advancing technologies.

“This is a new tool for our toolkit,” Gallas said. “Our pilot program will serve as an example of the transformative potential of remote drone operations, ensuring the continued advancement of our state’s infrastructure projects.”

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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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