Our April/May issue looks at COVID-19 and Canadian operators. We also visit Summit Air, Fox Flight Air Ambulance and Planes & Parts. Plus: Boeing Block III Super Hornet and Diamond DA40 NG flight test!
SkyX Systems, an aerial monitoring solutions provider, has received regulatory guidance for performing beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations in Canada. Transport Canada’s transportation sector regulatory review roadmap includes a proposed amendment to Canadian Aviation Regulations to provide more clarity and flexibility for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).
Beginning this year, Transport Canada plans on expanding pilot projects to develop and implement performance-based standards for RPAS operating BVLOS under low risk conditions. SkyX has been working closely with Transport Canada, including trial flights on Salt Spring Island to demonstrate to regulatory authorities that drones can safely operate in Canadian airspace autonomously and BVLOS. SkyX pilot certifications allow for basic and advanced operations in Canadian airspace.
According to the roadmap, SkyX BVLOS missions are on track to be approved in 2019 in isolated areas and uncontrolled airspace, which bodes well for midstream operators in need of inspection and monitoring solutions to maintain asset integrity. In three years of BVLOS RPAS development, flight operations at SkyX have advanced from site-specific special flight operations certificate (SFOC) with a development aircraft, to a system capable of nationwide operations in controlled airspace with the safety-assured SkyOne RPAS. A more permissible regulatory structure implies an increased level of confidence by Transport Canada that Canadian RPAS operators will act in their own best interest to maintain a culture of professionalism and flight safety.
“As the industry develops innovative ways to reduce the level of human interaction beyond that of supervised autonomy and remote autonomy, the need for permissible regulations which recognize the enhanced capabilities of computer systems to support BVLOS operations is becoming increasingly urgent,” said Didi Horn, SkyX founder and CEO. “We’re excited to continue our work with Transport Canada and look forward to a clearer regulatory framework for BVLOS. The implementation of consistent standards and practices will empower operators and manufacturers to further leverage solutions to challenges unique to Canadian geography, climate, and regulatory structure.”
SkyX’s aerial systems have vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities that enable them to be deployed from virtually anywhere with no need for launchers or runways. With a range of 100-plus kilometers on a single charge, SkyX achieves infinite range by pairing strategically placed charging stations along the survey route. SkyX also uses an A.I. system that analyzes the aerial data accumulated by SkyOne to detect anomalies on the pipeline, right of way and surrounding areas.