The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized Airbus Aerial to operate unmanned aerial systems in Grand Forks, N.D., under a public–private partnership to integrate UAS into public airspace. Airbus said Thursday that its UAS-focused business will conduct operations to support the UAS Integration Pilot Program, an effort to establish a framework for guiding public UAS usage.
The company’s received waiver allows for operations without external oversight from other parties. Airbus Aerial will deploy a SenseFly eBee drone to survey Xcel Energy’s power distribution lines across neighborhoods within Grand Forks. This activity will offer beyond-line-of-sight surveying.
FAA selected North Dakota as one of the program’s 10 participating communities. The state’s work will focus on the areas of flights over people, night operations and BVLOS operations without external observers.