Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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20 unmanned systems inside   August/September ugust/Septe   August/September   August/September be   August/September 2016 0 2016 6 2016 AIR REGULATION "I THINK (THE WAIVER PROCESS IS) ONE OF THE MOST INTRIGUING PARTS OF THE RULE. It remains to be seen how the process will be carried out in practice and what level of risk mitigation operators will be required to present to satisfy the FAA. It's a really interesting concept and certainly opens the door to a lot of interesting things, but how operators take advantage of it and how the FAA responds will determine how impactful it really is." David Proulx, vice president of product and marketing, Aeryon Labs Measure's Robert Blair with a senseFly eBee. use drones, the already established manufac- turers and service providers might struggle to maintain the same level of service and qual- ity they're able to offer today. New companies will enter the market, but while they get up to speed current businesses will need to meet the demand—which could become overwhelming. Thomas Bartlett, who owns Image in Flight, a company that primarily f lies UAS for the construction industry, sees safety as another challenge. While most are excited about the FAA dropping the pilot license requirement, he's concerned if everyone with a drone can get a certificate to f ly, it could lead to safety issues. "It's so easy to f ly now there's going to be a f lood of people," Bartlett said. "Someone else's accident could put us all out of business. With this new freedom comes responsibility for ev- ery one of these operators." Andy Von Stauffenberg, founder of VStar Systems, a company focused on developing UAS for military applications which also has interest in the commercial market, said it won't be long before insurance companies become more in- volved, adding another layer of complexity. In- surance companies will likely develop their own requirements, even stricter than the FAA's, that could hold some operators back. This might in- clude requiring a specific amount of flight hours to perform certain tasks. Photo courtesy of Blair Farms "Once we see more and more UAS come out and operate, the insurance companies are go- ing to take a critical look and that will drive a lot more of the requirements," he said. "The insurance companies will have a big say on the minimums they want to see before they'll insure someone for a UAS. There's no way around it." The Future The new rules for flying UAS commercially help UAS manufacturers as well as drone-centric ser- vice firms like AAIR, Image in Flight and Altavi- an, which is building a data-on-demand network based, initially, on the drone operators using its hardware platform and its Fetch data software. Many potential customers interested in UAS are no longer in wait-and-see mode, and those who are still hesitant aren't being cautious because of restrictive regulations or a lack of clarity about what they can and cannot do. As more professionals see and un- derstand the benefits UAS can provide, more of them will start looking to drones for safer, more cost effective operations, which will drive further innovation and help spur the industry forward. As more innovations are made and users continue to become more proficient, a whole other world of opportunity and potential ap- plications will open up. The industry is eager to f ly beyond visual line of sight, and many hope that is addressed more specifically in the next set of rules. For now most seem happy with the guidance they finally have from the FAA and are looking forward to seeing this industry continue to grow. "To make things a little broader and more ro- bust we need to get to a point where we can fly heavier aircraft with bigger payloads. Imagina- tion is the limit," Janicki said. "We're all expect- ing a round with more robust rules for heavier aircraft and different types of applications. The first round is a nice step but we still need fur- ther rulemaking to expand this industry." "WITH PART 107, we're able to take the infrastructure that we've been building of the flight service providers and data providers and connect those into a network that really enables data on demand on a much larger scale across United States." John Perry, the founder and CEO of Altavian

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