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UPS Drone delivers COVID vaccine to Piedmont Plaza

News and Commentary.  Federal docket FAA-2023-1256, issued in May, calls for public comments on a proposed rule on four requests for commercial operations beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS), performed at or below 400 feet in altitude.

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If the permission is granted, says the FAA, “Phoenix Air Unmanned, uAvionix, Zipline, and UPS Flight Forward will continue to expand the envelope of FAA-approved BVLOS drone operations. Data collected from these operations will inform the FAA’s ongoing policy and rulemaking activities.”  The request seeks comment on specific aspects of BVLOS drone ops, including detect and avoid, UTM, and shielded operations.

The drone industry has been waiting for an official rulemaking on BVLOS flight for several years.  BVLOS flight opens the door to truly remote operations, such as perimeter security or long range infrastructure inspection without…