FAA Authorization Bill, Percepto BVLOS Waiver, New Skyebrowse Feature, New FAA Admin

Welcome to your weekly UAS news update. We have four stories for you this week. The first one is a big one: the FAA reauthorization bill has been released, and it contains quite a bit of information. Secondly, gets a non-site-specific waiver. We also have SkyBrowse coming up with new cool features, which we've played with, and they are pretty amazing. Lastly, we have a new acting FAA administrator. Let's get to it.

FAA Reauthorization Bill

Our first story this week is the FAA reauthorization bill, which has a lot of information about drones in it. As you might know, the FAA needs to be reauthorized every so many years. 2023 is the year of the FAA reauthorization. In the document, Congress highlights all the different goals that the FAA has to fulfill within the next five years. The topics are quite diverse. Jason and I sat down a couple of days ago, once we got the first draft, and spent about five hours reading every single line in there that had to do with drones and trying to make sense of it in preparation for making a video for you guys. We haven't made the video yet because this is still a bill and it's not finalized.

The topics included routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight flights (BVLOS), UAS airworthiness, information about agricultural flights, and carrying hazardous material, which is kind of a big no-no at the moment or very difficult to achieve. An interesting part was waiver simplification and expedited reviews of waivers, which is a good thing.

We also have critical infrastructure information, wildland firefighting, risk assessment, information about recreational drone flying, tethered drones for public safety, operation of multiple UAS, and finally, Network .

We're working on compiling all this information into a single video, but the bill is not law just yet, so we want to make sure that we don't provide information a little bit too early. If you'd like to read the bill, start at page 376, where the UAS section starts. We'll leave a link down in the description.

Percepto BVLOS

Our second story this week is that Percepto has gotten a waiver for BVLOS, Beyond Visual Line of Sight. You're probably thinking, “big deal, so have plenty of other people.” That's right, but what makes this waiver special is that there's no set location attached to the waiver. This means that Percepto is permitted to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight anywhere the waiver allows, which is quite a big step forward. This waiver is another major step for the industry's goal to gain routine BVLOS operation and we're pretty excited about this.


For our third story this week, we're talking about SkyBrowse. Our friends at SkyBrowse have released a new feature allowing any video from nearly any device to be loaded into SkyBrowse and processed to create a 3D model. This may not sound like a big deal, but it really is. To test it, we downloaded a video from YouTube of a castle's ruins and processed it in SkyBrowse. The entire process took about 10 minutes from download to model. This is a really cool addition. Pretty much any video from any device can be used at this stage.

We also created a model of a Thermal using one of our studio cameras and using the cyclorama wall right here that we have, that big white wall, without any sort of GPS. The results were very impressive. Thanks to Jeff at SkyBrowse for giving us early access and for the idea of taking a video from YouTube. He did that first, and we copied it, and it worked really well.

New acting FAA administrator

Our final story this week is that we have a new acting FAA administrator; her name is Polly Trottenberg. She was the deputy secretary, and now she has become the FAA acting administrator after Bill Nolan stepped down. Additionally, there is no nomination for the FAA administrator after the previous nominee stepped down a few months ago. This is a bit concerning, quite frankly. I'm not sure what the holdup is or why we can't find someone qualified to finally head the agency, especially with this FAA Reauthorization Act right around the corner. Well, anyway, I'm just shaking my head.

We'll keep you updated if we hear anything else on the FAA or the new administrator, but at this stage, we need a nominee.

That's all we have for now. Thanks for tuning in. Like and subscribe, and we'll see you next time. We have a live Q&A on Monday, so I hope to see you there and answer all your questions. See you guys. Thank you.

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Greg Reverdiau
Greg Reverdiau
Articles: 73

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