Iris Automation, MVT Geo-solutions to conduct BVLOS flights using only onboard Detect-and-Avoid in Canada

Transport Canada has granted Iris Automation and MVT Geo-solutions the first beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) using only onboard Detect-and-Avoid (DAA).

The approval was granted based on the use of Casia, which is Iris Automation’s DAA system that provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance maneuvers.

“Achieving the first BVLOS approval in Canada further validates our technology alongside multiple permissions we have already received from regulators in the U.S. and South Africa,” says Iris Automation CEO Alexander Harmsen.

“This technology is critical to safely integrate drones into the airspace along with manned-aircraft, and we look forward to unlocking commercial operations for our customers in Canada.”

The waiver allows flights to be conducted within the UAS Center of Excellence’s controlled airspace Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) test range in Alma, Quebec. This will be the first BVLOS flight conducted at the location that utilizes only onboard DAA for air risk mitigation, and does not require ground-based observers or radar.

Iris Automation notes that BVLOS flights unlock autonomous drone use for a variety of commercial applications such as emergency response, infrastructure inspection and package delivery.

“The UAS Center of Excellence is looking forward to leveraging Iris Automation’s industry-leading DAA system and existing flight expertise within our network to conduct BVLOS flights with MVT Geo-solutions,” says UAS Center of Excellence Director William de Keiser.

“We will continue to develop our partnership with Iris Automation to provide training to local operators and enable BVLOS flights in Canada.”

The first BVLOS flights are expected to occur within weeks. Data collected during these flights will inform more complex BVLOS operations in the future.

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