First South African BVLOS approval goes to Iris Automation


Iris Automation and its customer United Drone Holdings have been granted the very first approval for BVLOS long-range commercial flights by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

A demonstration of Iris Automation’s detect-and-avoid technology in action persuaded the SACAA of the safety of the product, which can now be used with only two pilots per drone and with no observers or ground-based radars.

United Drone Holdings conducts long-range infrastructure inspection, mapping and surveillance in South Africa, as well as certified training, SACAA-approved operations, equipment supply and hosts one of Africa’s largest drone conferences.

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Iris Automation says of its Casia onboard detect-and-avoid system: “It is a plug-and-play turnkey solution that detects, tracks and classifies other aircraft and makes intelligent decisions about the threat they may pose to the drone. It then triggers automated maneuvers to avoid collisions, and alerts the pilot on the ground in command of the mission.”

Meanwhile Iris Automation CEO Alexander Harmsen commented: “I’m proud to see that our Casia system has been validated once again by gaining BVLOS approval from the regulator in South Africa, which comes in addition to the multiple permissions our technology has already received in the United States.

“Iris Automation currently has customers operating in a dozen countries around the world and we continue to work closely with global regulators both directly and through our customers.”

Tags : BVLOSIris AutomationSACAASouth AfricaUnited Drone Holdings
Sam Lewis

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