Iris Automation Launches Canadian Pathfinder Project to Streamline Unmanned BVLOS Approvals

February 18th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Iris Automation Launches Canadian Pathfinder Project to Streamline Unmanned BVLOS Approvals   
Iris Automation Launches Canadian Pathfinder Project to Streamline Unmanned BVLOS Approvals

The Canada Pathfinder Program is for certified remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) pilots and will include flight training, assistance gaining BVLOS approvals, a BVLOS safety system, and test center access. (Iris Automation)

Iris Automation believes its newly launched Canada Pathfinder Program which will help streamline the regulatory approval process for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations. 

The Canada Pathfinder Program is for certified remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) pilots and will include flight training, assistance gaining BVLOS approvals, a BVLOS safety system, and test center access, a representative from Iris told Avionics International. Iris is partnering with Foremost UAS Test Range and UAS Center of Excellence for this program. 

“We see incredible interest in utilizing commercial drone operations but concerns about how to launch a program safely, efficiently and in compliance with current regulations,” William De Keiser, director of the Cluster of Excellence at CED, said in a Feb. 16 press release. “Teaming with Iris Automation to provide this complete program will help many companies to finally embrace the potential of drone operations. As a Canadian pioneer in the civil and commercial RPAS industry, we are proud to continue to develop the technologies and skills that speed up the advent of safe and well-integrated BVLOS flight in Canadian airspace.”

Through the program Iris and the prospective drone company will develop a concept of operations and other documentation needed to apply for the BVLOS Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada, the representative said. The company will then work with Iris and the test site to determine and conduct training. 

This program will require companies to use Iris’ detect and avoid (DAA) system, Casia. (Iris Automation)

This program will require companies to use Iris’ detect and avoid (DAA) system, Casia, according to the representative. 

“Iris works with the customer to integrate their UAS with our Casia onboard DAA System, secure a declaration letter from the OEM, and provide Casia training,” the representative for Iris Automation said. “Once all of this is complete, the customer submits their SFOC application package for expedited review and waits for BVLOS approval to conduct the flights at the test center location.” 

In October 2020 MVT Geo-solution was granted a SFOC for BVLOS using Iris’ Casia system. Iris also participates in the Federal Aviation Administration’s BEYOND program to advance UAS in the U.S. national airspace. 

“Our work in Canada, specifically with Transport Canada and the RPAS test sites, has demonstrated the incredible opportunities the country offers for advanced commercial drone solutions,” Gabrielle Wain, vice president of regulatory affairs at Iris Automation, said in a press statement. “We’re excited to partner with the CED Alma and Foremost as a way to bring the expertise required to local markets and help jumpstart the efforts for organizations keen to get started.”

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