Botlink has received a major nationwide waiver for four years, from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to conduct drone operations over people (OOP).
Botlink was founded in Fargo, N.D., with military pilots and engineers, for the purpose of safely sharing the benefits of drones. Botlink is a drone software and hardware development company that leads the market in Long-Term Evolution (LTE) communication technology.
Current drone regulations do not allow flight over people unless it is according to very specific circumstances, such as a serious limitation for many drone applications, especially in populated areas. However, Fargo, N.D., drone services and development company, Botlink, will now be able to explore the possibility of flight over people.
Such a waiver has involved several years of building trust by working with the FAA, and providing evidence that Botlink’s safety case for flight over people is reasonable. Botlink has won some points already since they have worked with the FAA and other drone companies, as part of North Dakota’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). When they were able to contain waivers and demonstrate the potential for drone flight over people at high profile events like a tailgating party prior to the North Dakota State University (NDSU) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) football game, Botlink and partners have demonstrated their ability to provide security for the event.
Terri Zimmerman, CEO of Botlink, stated:
“We could not be more excited to receive this nationwide waiver and be amongst only a few companies who have been shown this level of trust by the FAA. Our multi-year collaboration with the FAA has prepared us to meet the stringent requirements for this waiver.”*
A Botlink press release said:
“All operations performed by Botlink under this waiver adhere to rigorous safety protocols, including using a flight-certified visual observer on the ground to assist the pilot-in-command, following detailed operation plans and procedures, and only flying a drone with an integrated parachute system.”*
“Botlink has consistently pushed the boundaries of drone use for commercial applications, and this is just the latest example. Over the next couple of years, we’re going to see a dramatic increase in the innovative and cost-saving uses of drones. This waiver will enable us to continue to lead and efficiently participate in this fast-growing market.”*
All operations performed by Botlink under this waiver adhere to rigorous safety protocols. This includes using a flight-certified visual observer on the ground to assist the pilot-in-command. It also means following detailed operation plans and procedures, and only flying a drone with an integrated parachute system.
The broad four-year waiver gives Botlink the flexibility to be able to rapidly support commercial customers.
Botlink shows us what can be accomplished by pushing the boundaries of drone use for commercial applications. It should encourage all drone enthusiasts to look for a dramatic increase in innovative uses for drones and actively participate and contribute to this incredibly fast-growing market.