PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Skyward, A Verizon company, a
temporary waiver that allows company pilots to fly the Percepto
Sparrow drone from their homes to inspect critical communications
infrastructure near the Big Hollow wildfire in Washington. The
waiver permits operations 24 hours a day, with less than 3 miles of
visibility, and no pilot or observer on site.
With multiple natural disasters occurring throughout the United States, the ability to safely inspect sites that support critical communications for first responders has never been more important or necessary.
“At a moment when we are facing dangerous consequences of climate change and coping with a global pandemic, maintaining the Verizon Network has never been more important,” said Rima Qureshi, Chief Strategy Officer, Verizon. "Innovations in airborne technology have enhanced our ability to inspect our sites without putting engineers in harm's way, and provide our first responders with reliable communications. We appreciate the FAA's swift action in granting the waiver, which allows us to deploy a network-connected drone and provide critical services, safely and effectively."
Although the FAA can grant “beyond visual line of sight,” or BVLOS, waivers to businesses that prove they can fly safely, an onsite pilot or visual observer has still been generally required. In preparation for...