Drone News: Amazon Loses Head of Ops, FAA UTM Field Test, Skyebrowse Pay-Per-Model, and New FRIA Map

Welcome to this week's UAS News update. We have four stories for you: loses its Head of Safety and Flight Operations; the FAA and conduct UTM field tests; SkyBrowse introduces a pay-per-model; and the FPV Freedom Coalition releases a FREIA map.

Amazon Loses Head of Flight Ops

This week, Amazon faces another setback with the departure of Sean Cassidy, the Head of Safety, Flight Operations, and Regulatory Affairs. Cassidy, a former Airlines pilot, joined Amazon in 2015 to assist with the Prime Air program. Despite Amazon receiving their certificate in August 2020 and starting deliveries this year, the company has seen several layoffs and the loss of key figures, including Cassidy. Amazon has not yet released a statement on the status of their deliveries.

FAA and NASA Conduct UTM Field Test

The FAA and NASA have conducted a UTM field test, an important step for unmanned traffic management. This system will enable UAS operators to reserve airspace for specific times in certain areas. The test included flights of varying complexity, verifying standards, evaluating the UTM system, and testing the FAA's integration with the USS (Unmanned Service Supplier). The collected data will inform policymakers on how to enable low-altitude operations, especially for operations beyond visual line of sight ().

SkyBrowse Pay-Per-Model

SkyBrowse now offers a pay-per-model version of their software, starting at just $3 per model. Their unique approach to mapping, using video files instead of photos, allows users to unlock features like downloads and measurements not available in their premium subscription plan. This new model also works with older models, providing access to all tools.

A New FREIA Map!!!

Alex Suarez from the FPV Freedom Coalition has created a map displaying all approved FREIAs, filling a gap left by the FAA's UAS facility map. This color-coded map differentiates between the four CBOs and provides precise boundaries, making it a valuable resource for drone pilots.

We hope you have a great weekend and look forward to seeing you for the Monday live next week. Last week, I was on vacation, and our YouTube follower, Wolfpack 4694, inquired about a video discussing my demeanor. The team had fun with it, so stay tuned for that and more updates next week.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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