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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: Notice JO 7210.891

Moving UAS Policy Boundaries Forward, Take 2: Flights Beyond Visual Line of Sight of the Operator

Yesterday we reported on the FAA’s policy shift relating to flights near people. The FAA last week made another quiet change that implicates beyond line of sight operations. While the demand for UAS continues to grow, the FAA’s current requirement that the UAS only be operated within visual line-of-sight of the operator limits the full potential of UAS for many commercial uses. Some of the most promising commercial UAS applications—precision agriculture, powerline inspections, and railroad inspections, to name just a few—necessitate flights beyond visual line-of-sight (“BVLOS”) of the operator to be efficient. “Line-of-sight” flight requires that the pilot can visually see the UAS at all times during the operation, unless another person acting as a visual observer maintains constant visual contact with the UAS.