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An interesting update via USA Today and great news for Trimble and a few others!
From USA Today…
Four companies won approval Wednesday to fly commercial drones to conduct aerial surveys, monitor construction sites and inspect oil flare stacks, the Federal Aviation Administration announced.
The approvals for Trimble Navigation Limited (TRMB), VDOS Global, Clayco Inc. and Woolpert Inc. come as the FAA drafts comprehensive regulations for drones to share the skies with passenger planes.
“The FAA’s first priority is the safety of our nation’s aviation system,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. “Today’s exemptions are a step toward integrating (unmanned aerial systems) operations safely.”
Michael Toscano, CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, called the FAA action a positive step, but that the agency needs to complete its regulations to allow broader use of drones.
“We are pleased to be among the first companies to receive an exemption from the FAA authorizing commercial operation of UAS. This decision reflects Trimble’s efforts to responsibly operate its UAS business in the U.S while the FAA addresses air safety issues in opening the National Airspace System (NAS) for commercial UAS operations on a broader scale. Trimble will continue its efforts to support the FAA’s decision-making process and to provide opportunities for our customers to safely use the UX5 to capture accurate geospatial data for a wide range of applications.”
— Erik Arvesen
Vice President, Trimble Geospatial Division