Choctaw Nation BEYOND BVLOS Approval

Choctaw Nation BEYOND BVLOS Approval

Choctaw Nation BEYOND BVLOS ApprovalChoctaw Nation BEYOND Program Granted FAA BVLOS Approval with uAvionix Installation

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

UAvionix has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Beyond Program approval for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations at the Emerging Aviation Technology Center UAS Test Range utilizing uAvionix SkyLine™ Managed C2 and Detect & Avoid sensors. This is the second BVLOS waiver issued by the FAA for the combination of uAvionix SkyLine software and SkyLink™ hardware, enabling drone operators at the CNO range to rely on an Electronic Observer while meeting requirements to stay clear of crewed aircraft while the uncrewed aircraft is beyond the pilot’s visual range of sight.

“This approval is a major milestone for the Choctaw Nation’s Emerging Aviation Technology Center,” said James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “With this approval we achieved a major milestone in the FAA Beyond program by enabling BVLOS test flights for our partners and customers by leveraging the permanently deployed hardware and software from uAvionix.”

The waiver certifies that uAvionix and the CNO have proven that the aircraft detect and avoid systems, procedures, and the control network fulfill all necessary safety requirements for operations in the national airspace. The UAS Test Range system includes the uAvionix SkyLine C2 management platform and pingStation3 dual-mode ADS-B receivers. Integrated with the DeTect™ Harrier radar as part of the surveillance layer is the SkyLine C2 management platform, utilized to manage various CNO and uAvionix owned eVTOL aircraft via the uAvionix muLTElink and SkyLink series of C2 radios.

”Successfully demonstrating safe and controlled Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations is critical to meet the growing demand for the use of drones in everything from package delivery to search and rescue operations,” said CNO Aviation Operations Manager Marcus Hartman. “Our collaboration with uAvionix establishes the Advanced Technology Center and the FAA Beyond program as key leaders for this important work.”

“We are incredibly proud to be a Beyond partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma”, said uAvionix President Christian Ramsey. “This is our second waiver in two weeks based on our SkyLine and Skylink technology stack and DAA sensor integration. Having this capability available at CNO enables our customers to conduct testing and demonstration in Oklahoma and will further serve as guidance for future applications leveraging this concept of operations.”

The SkyLine™ C2 product ecosystem and muLTElink™ radio allow for selection of the optimal radio link from a range of LTE, ISM, aviation protected C Band and SATCOM, while simultaneously providing the user with real time monitoring of system health and visualization of assorted integrated DAA sensors.

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.


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