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Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone Operations in Kansas

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the go-ahead for the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to conduct beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. The KDOT team, which includes Kansas State University Polytechnic, Westar Energy and Iris Automation,  will fly a nine-mile track to evaluate technologies for power line inspections in rural Kansas without monitoring the drone by visual observers or ground-based radar . Westar Energy’s senior unmanned aerial systems (UAS) coordinator said, “Being able to operate under this waiver allows the [KDOT] team the ability to research and develop truly scalable BVLOS UAS operations for the automated inspection of linear infrastructure.” KDOT hopes to conduct exponentially safer and more cost-effective inspections using drones in this manner. The goal of the KDOT team and these missions is to assist in creating a safer, scalable means for all drone operations in the national airspace.

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About this Author

Kathryn Rattigan Attorney Cybersecurity Data Privacy
Associate

Kathryn Rattigan is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She advises clients on data privacy and security, cybersecurity, and compliance with related state and federal laws. Kathryn also provides legal advice regarding the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. She represents clients across all industries, such as insurance, health care, education, energy, and construction.

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