Choctaw Nation’s Beyond Program Achieves FAA Approval for Extended Flight Operations with uAvionix Installation

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Beyond Program, in partnership with uAvionix, has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations at the Emerging Aviation Technology Center UAS Test Range. This marks the second BVLOS waiver by the FAA for the combination of uAvionix’s SkyLine software and SkyLink hardware in as many months, allowing drone pilots operating at the CNO range to leverage only an Electronic Observer while meeting requirements to remain well-clear of crewed aircraft when the uncrewed aircraft is beyond the pilot’s visual range of sight.

“This approval is a major milestone for the Choctaw Nation’s Emerging Aviation Technology Center,” said James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “With this approval we achieved a major milestone in the FAA Beyond program by enabling BVLOS test flights for our partners and customers by leveraging the permanently deployed hardware and software from uAvionix.”

The approved waiver signifies that uAvionix and the CNO have demonstrated to the FAA that their aircraft detect and avoid systems, procedures, and the control network meet the safety threshold for operations in the national airspace. Key components of the system deployed on the UAS Test Range include the uAvionix SkyLine C2 management platform and pingStation3 dual-mode ADS-B receivers. The SkyLine C2 management platform is integrated with the DeTect™ Harrier radar as part of the surveillance layer and is used to control several CNO and uAvionix-owned eVTOL aircraft through the uAvionix muLTElink and SkyLink series of C2 radios.

“Successfully demonstrating safe and controlled Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations is critical to meet the growing demand for the use of drones in everything from package delivery to search and rescue operations,” said Marcus Hartman, Aviation Operations Manager for CNO. “Our collaboration with uAvionix establishes the Advanced Technology Center and the FAA Beyond program as key leaders for this important work.”

“We are incredibly proud to be a Beyond partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,” said Christian Ramsey, uAvionix President. “This is our second waiver in two weeks based on our SkyLine and Skylink technology stack and DAA sensor integration. Having this capability available at CNO enables our customers to conduct testing and demonstration in Oklahoma and will further serve as guidance for future applications leveraging this concept of operations.”

The SkyLine™ C2 product ecosystem and its innovative muLTElink™ radio, a single low-SWaP avionic device, enables dynamic selection of the best radio link between LTE, ISM, aviation protected C Band and SATCOM, while presenting the end user with real-time monitoring of system health and visualization of various integrated DAA sensors. To learn more about the SkyLine Network and uAvionix’s suite of Low-SWaP aviation-grade C2 radios, visit uavionix.com.

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