Flight Over People: Botlink Scores a Nationwide Waiver from FAA

fight over peopleCurrent drone regulations prohibit flight over people except under very specific circumstances – a serious limitation for many drone applications, especially in populated areas.  Fargo, ND drone services and development company Botlink will now be able to explore the possibilities of flight over people, however.  Botlink has receved a nationwide waiver for four years from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct drone operations over people (OOP).

The waiver has taken years of working with the FAA and proving Botlink’s safety case for flight over people.  Botlink has worked with the FAA and other drone companies as part of North Dakota’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP), receiving waivers and demonstrating the potential for drone flight over people at high profile events like the tailgating party prior to the North Dakota State University (NDSU) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) football game, when Botlink and partners proided security for the event.

Botlink’s long term efforts to build trust and their experience in applications over people have paid off.  “We could not be more excited to receive this nationwide waiver and be amongst only a few companies who have been shown this level of trust by the FAA,” said Terri Zimmerman, Botlink CEO. “Our multi-year collaboration with the FAA has prepared us to meet the stringent requirements for this waiver.”

“All operations performed by Botlink under this waiver adhere to rigorous safety protocols, including using a flight-certified visual observer on the ground to assist the pilot-in-command, following detailed operation plans and procedures, and only flying a drone with an integrated parachute system,” says the Botlink release.

“Botlink has consistently pushed the boundaries of drone use for commercial applications, and this is just the latest example,” added Terri Zimmerman. “Over the next couple of years, we’re going to see a dramatic increase in the innovative and cost-saving uses of drones. This waiver will enable us to continue to lead and efficiently participate in this fast-growing market.”

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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

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