New Commercial UAS Exemptions Include Utility and Tower Inspections
The Federal Aviation Administration granted three more commercial unmanned aircraft systems exemptions and amended one more this week to Commonwealth Edison Co., LowCountry, Corp., and a second to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. bringing the total number of exemptions to 38.
Commonwealth Edison will be allowed to fly a DJI Innovations S900 for electric utility system monitoring, inspections and damage assessments, and is the first electric utility provider approved for these operations.
LowCountry may use a DJI S1000 to take high definition images of towers and structures for inspection. These inspections previously required dangerous manual efforts that often required a helicopter to lift the inspector to the top of the focus structure.
State Farm will be able to use two different systems for outdoor research and development on UAS use in insurance functions including using aerial imagery and analytics in underwriting, reunderwiting, catastrophe response, roof inspection and claim resolution settings.
VDOS Global received an amendment to its exemption to inspect flare stacks for the Shell Oil company in the Gulf of Mexico to include operations for other companies and in areas other than the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, over 460 exemption requests have been filed with the FAA.