Airobotics Receives Australian Approval for BVLOS Drone Flights

Airobotics Airbase docking station and Optimus drone. Source: Airobotics

January 22, 2019      

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. – Drone startup Airobotics today announced it has obtained Australia’s “first and only” Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval to operate automated multi-rotor drones from its Remote Operations Center (ROC) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) with air crew needed at a client site.

The company said its remote pilots are located within Airobotics Australia’s ROC, at a designated Remote Pilot Station (RPS), which operates more than 1,000 kilometers from onsite systems at the customer sites. The new “man on the loop” level of operations enables human operators to supervise flights, but without requiring “man on the loop” pilots to intervene in flight operations, the company said in a statement.

Airobotics Australia BVLOS operations center

Remote pilots at Airobotics can operate from more than 1,000 kilometers away from an onsite drone. Source: Airobotics

“This landmark approval is a major achievement for Airobotics and its future growth across Australia,” said Niv Russo, vice president of aviation and compliance at Airobotics. “Removing aircrews from potentially dangerous environments, like mines, enables customers to extract maximum value and reduce risk from their business operations by leveraging technology and automation. This progression marks the next step for Airobotics as we continue to break new ground in unmanned drone technology to deliver safer and more accurate, data-driven solutions.”

The company said its automated solution provides an alternative to standard piloted services, “which can be prohibitive, imprecise and not always available.” Airobotics said it is the only drone company certified to fly BVLOS operations in the U.S. (December 2018 approval), Israel (March 2017 approval), and Australia, “three countries considered to be in the cutting edge of UAV regulations.”

Airobotics team BVLOS operations article

The Airobotics team and drone. Source: Airobotics

“We’d like to extend our utmost gratitude and appreciation to the CASA RPAS team members who worked collaboratively with Airobotics over many months in achieving this first-of-its-kind approval,” said Joe Urli, the director of flight operations and chief remote pilot for Airobotics. “This milestone is a credit to our dedication and constant desire to improve the processes that have made Airobotics the region’s leading unmanned aviation company.”

The company’s pilotless drone solution provides an end-to-end, fully automatic solution for collecting aerial data and gaining insights. The industrial-grade platform is available on site and on-demand, giving industrial facilities access to premium aerial data in a faster, safer, and more efficient way, Airobotics said.

The company recently announced a $30 million Series D round of funding, bringing its total investment to $101 million.