Skydio AI-enabled drone. Skydio BVLOSSouthern Company Granted FAA Waiver for Fully-Remote Drone Operations

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

In partnership with drone leader Skydio, leading energy provider Southern Company has announced that it has received a conditions-based waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowing for remote-based, autonomous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) dock operations across its system.

One of the first of its kind, this BVLOS waiver will assist the Southern Company system with remote-based infrastructure monitoring and inspection at plant sites, substations and additional fixed site locations. The integration of autonomous drone systems will make inspections, mapping and monitoring more efficient, leading to more reliable energy infrastructure for customers.

“This is a huge step in advancing autonomous and remote operations at scale,” said Dean Barefield, Southern Company’s UAS program manager. “The waiver will help to unlock the true…