FAA approves rare permit to replant after wildfires


DroneSeed has obtained an additional amendment to its already unprecedented FAA Part 333 exemption that enables them to operate their seed-planting drones BVLOS in forested and post-fire areas.

It means the company can operate beyond a pilot’s view – a classification thus far unique to only DroneSeed and a first for a company in its industry.

Until now the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lacked an immediate solution to safely, quickly, and effectively replant in those areas, but DroneSeed say this approval gives them capability to overcome that hurdle.

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It detailed how scorched timber that is left onsite can fall over and kill labourers manually replanting.

Now, it says, DroneSeed can safely and efficiently replant seed vessels that boost survival rates immediately after a fire, deploying them with greater precision and efficacy by targeting areas called ‘microsites’ where regrowth has its best odds.

Commenting, Grant Canary, CEO of DroneSeed, said: “In an age where wildfires are both more severe, yet the new normal, and natural forest regeneration is declining rapidly, we need better tools such as drone swarms to have a shot at keeping the forests we have in addition to planting more trees to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.”

DroneSeed has licenses in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and is actively pursuing the ability to operate in Arizona, California and Colorado.

Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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