Oswego City Police Receives FAA Approval for BVLOS Drone Operations

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Police Department to Use Drones as First Responders

The Oswego City Police Department in New York has been granted approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations without visual observers. The approval will allow the Police department to deploy drones as First Responders to emergency calls, providing enhanced situational awareness, quicker response times, and increased safety for both officers and the public.

The police department will be utilizing uAvionix’s Casia G ground-based detect-and-avoid (DAA) system for their BVLOS operations.

Jon Damush, CEO of uAvionix, expressed hope that this approval will “pave the way for the widespread adoption of ‘drone as first responder’ programs across the US.” He also anticipates “future approvals for police, emergency medical services, and fire departments adopting the same approach.”

uAvionix has previously been awarded a contract by the FAA to develop a hybrid command-and-control link for drones in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This project aims to support long-range UAS flights beyond visual line of sight in challenging terrain.

DroneXL’s Take

The approval of BVLOS drone operations for the Oswego City Police Department marks a significant step forward in the integration of drones into emergency response services. As more public safety agencies adopt Drone Technology, it is crucial to establish clear guidelines and regulations to ensure safe and effective operations.

The use of drones as first responders has the potential to revolutionize emergency response, providing real-time data and imagery to help first responders make informed decisions and save lives. With the continued development of advanced drone technologies and the increasing collaboration between industry leaders and regulatory bodies, we can expect to see more widespread adoption of drone-based emergency response programs in the near future.

Photo courtesy of Oswego City Police Department

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