American Water secures FAA waiver for 4-mile BVLOS drone flights
Utility giant American Water is taking its drone program up a notch with a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). The waiver will allow American Water drone operators to fly their aircraft up to four miles away.
The company says it sought the BVLOS waiver to improve source water monitoring and detect potential environmental threats to the water supply. Christopher Kahn, director of UAS at American Water, explains:
This waiver is a significant and exceptionally rare achievement for American Water and our UAS program. Annually, American Water captures more than 500,000 images and aerial maps of its assets through our drone program. These images help us monitor our systems and continue to provide our customers with safe, reliable water and wastewater service.
Additionally, American Water intends to utilize the fresh FAA waiver for emergency response activities. Kahn says that many of the company’s critical…