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Transport Canada OKs IRIS Drone Flight Certificate

Source: IRIS Automation Transport Canada this week approved a special dflight certificate that will allow advance Iris Automation's onboard drone detect-and-avoid (DAA) solution With the approval of the second Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights in uncontrolled airspace, IRIS will partner with MVT Geo-solutions.

In April, MVT Geo-solutions and IRIS partnered in a successful bid to receive the first Special Flight Operations Certificate by Transport Canada using only onboard Detect-and-Avoid. Under the latest SFOC, MVT, the UAS Center of Excellence (CED Alma), and Iris Automation will partner to conduct commercial missions over linear power lines in Alma, Quebec. Approval was granted to include the utilization of Iris Automation's DAA system, Casia, which provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance maneuvers.

"These flights will mark the partnership's first BVLOS flights outside of the CED Alma test range that will leverage onboard DAA for air risk mitigation and does not require ground-based visual observers or radar. It is the second BVLOS waiver the partnership has secured in Canada, with the first waiver being limited to flights within the Center of Excellence's controlled airspace," an IRIS statement notes. BVLOS flights unlock autonomous drone use for economically beneficial commercial applications including infrastructure inspection, mining, mapping, agriculture, emergency response, and package delivery.

"This permission further demonstrates how the Casia onboard detect-and-avoid (DAA) system is helping to advance the safety case for drone usage while simultaneously expanding the envelope of drone-related use cases," said Jon Damush, CEO of Iris Automation. "Drones offer tremendous promise in terms of safety and economics as compared to piloted aviation alternatives, but we must integrate them into the airspace safely. Seeing and avoiding other aircraft is paramount to that safety, and steps like this are key to unlocking the promise of drones." "Obtaining this Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) is a first in Quebec," explains Alain Fortin, President of the UAS Center of Excellence. "As a Canadian pioneer in the civil and commercial RPAS industry, Alma's CED is proud to have contributed to the development of technologies and skills that speed up the advent of safe and well-integrated BVLOS flight in Canadian airspace."

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech.

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