Unifly Partners With SkySensus To Enable Safe & Routine BVLOS Missions in Canada.

SkySensus is a Canadian drone research project, which was selected to fulfill Canada’s official Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Traffic Management Service Trials. Unifly, a Belgium-based company that is one of Europe’s biggest names in unmanned traffic management (UTM) joins Canadian-based SkySensus for a BeyondVisual Line of Sight (BVLOS) project.

Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) flights are performed with drones within the pilot’s line of sight, whereas BeyondVisual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights are performed out of visual range. Although VLOS flights have made it possible to see farther and gather information that, until recently, was too expensive, dangerous or impractical to get, BVLOS capabilities would enable drones to cover far greater distances, which significantly improves the economics and feasibility of many commercial operations.

However, one major hurdle that has prevented most drone operators from unlocking the full potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and reaping its full economic benefits are regulations that allow drones to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). Many believe a reasonable place to start is an operational radii of at least ten miles from their launching site.

Laurent Huenaerts, General Manager and Vice President of Unifly, expressed his enthusiasm over the joint venture of the BVLOS project of SkySensus and Unifly in stating the following:

“We are thrilled to partner with SkySensus as the consortium offers the expertise, experience, and technology components required to enable safe routine BVLOS operations. The vision and concrete implementation plan that SkySensus defined to enable complex operations will benefit not only Transport Canada and NAV CANADA, but also every RPAS operator willing to fly BVLOS in Canada in the future.”*

“[Traffic Management] (RTM) Service Trials develop the requirements, performance levels and deployment of services needed for Canada’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) drone Traffic Management system and the RTM selection committee is a joint government and industry group co-led by Transport Canada and NAV CANADA. It was established to create a roadmap for the development of RTM services and to develop an ecosystem of RTM services that can safely manage the integration of drones into Canadian airspace.”*

SkySensus Program Manager at Periton Canada, Blair Boyd, stated:

“This is a significant win for SkySensus, to be singled out by the selection committee to contribute to the RTM trials is immense for SkySensus and the entire RPAS community. The RTM services trials complement our current project focus on the BVLOS enablers of airworthiness, detect and avoid solutions and data analytics, all toward the development for safe RPAS operations to enable commercialization.”*

The plans are for new technologies, such as RPAS tracking, remote identification, detect-and-avoid, conflict resolution, and RTM services to be introduced and displayed to integrate drone traffic more fully into the nation’s air traffic management system.

After having conducted several simultaneous RPAS flights, SkySensus has successfully completed Phase I of the RTM drone trials at the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) Test Range in southern Alberta in October, 2020. Phase II of the RTM trials is planned for early spring of 2021.


Whereas Civil Aviation Authorities around the world require that drones must always be flown within the pilot’s visual line of sight (VLOS), the joint venture of SkySensus and Unifly is a step forward with the possibility of pilots flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations where drones are able to fly long distances. 

BVLOS flights would offer tremendous business opportunities for markets because it would enable drones to cover far greater distances, which significantly improve the economics and feasibility of many commercial operations.

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