Aerial Vantage Receives FAA BVLOS Waiver for Drone-Based Precision Agriculture Analytics

Aerial Vantage has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval of a waiver allowing it to conduct advanced remote sensing missions using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) over a large ranch in Florida. 

The Part 107 beyond visual line of sight (BLVOS) waiver will allow Aerial Vantage to fly as high as 1,000 feet, with visual observers ensuring cleared airspace exists beyond the view of the remote pilot. 

The waiver was developed in collaboration with aircraft partner Censys Technologies and obtained with assistance from the North Carolina Department of Transportation through its participation in the FAA’s BEYOND program. Aerial Vantage is a partner in that program, one of eight teams selected by the FAA to pave the way for routine commercial and government drone use in the National Airspace System.

“This waiver grants us a meaningful change in our ability to provide precision agriculture data on a larger scale to the industry,” said Aerial Vantage Director of Flight Operations Bill Keating.

The implications could be far-reaching once Aerial Vantage can reliably demonstrate safe operations under the waiver. While operations are currently restricted to flights over the company’s partner ranch in Florida, Aerial Vantage intends to pursue agricultural, emergency response, and infrastructure missions in North Carolina as a BEYOND partner.

Flight operations under this waiver began in early October 2022 and are authorized for up to two years. Collecting aerial imagery with drone flights and applying analytics to the imagery will address multiple use cases, from better understanding invasive plant species and pasture renovations to capturing livestock inventories, estimating timber volume, monitoring excavation activities, and counting wildlife.  

Outcomes will include proof of concept and flight operations data for small UAS operations up to 1,000 feet and more efficient collection of a large quantity of aerial imagery across large swaths of a working ranch. 

Aerial Vantage’s capabilities include Accelerate, a UAS operations and data management SaaS platform, advanced data analytics, and drone operations as a service. Integrating drones into the ranching operations and the utility of Aerial Vantage’s Accelerate data management platform, which efficiently ingests, curates, tags, and organizes imagery and flight data, will ease implementation, scaling, and demonstration of a return on investment.

About Aerial Vantage

Aerial Vantage is a drone, software, and analytics company with a multi-faceted vision to lead the industry toward safe, efficient, and economically viable VLOS and BVLOS operations using advanced expertise in AI, ML, and computer vision.  

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