Alpha Unmanned Systems (alphaunmannedsystems.com) announced today that it has selected Robotic Skies, Inc. (roboticskies.com) to develop and implement a global support plan for its current and future commercial UAVs, currently featuring the Alpha 800 unmanned helicopter. Robotic Skies will provide a warranty program and field support management for Alpha Unmanned customers through its network of worldwide service centers.
Alpha Unmanned Systems designs and manufactures remotely piloted gasoline-powered helicopters for reconnaissance, surveillance and inspections. Founded in 2014 and based in Madrid, Spain, Alpha Unmanned customers include private industry, researchers, military and first responders in Asia, Middle East and Europe. The company’s flagship product, the Alpha 800, has over three hours of flight endurance, a payload capacity of 3 Kg and a range of up to 30 Km.
“Partnering with Robotic Skies will allow Alpha to greatly expand our customer base to nearly every geographic region of the world,” said Eric Freeman, CEO of Alpha Unmanned Systems. “We can now provide local maintenance, repair and field upgrades with the same attention and quality that we deliver from our HQ in Madrid. This global partnership for support services will ensure that our customers’ systems are always running well, with minimum downtime.”
Robotic Skies is the world’s largest provider of turnkey warranty program management, assembly/completion, and field repair services for industrial-grade unmanned aircraft. With a network of 150 independently owned and operated service centers throughout the world in over 30 countries, its customers include high-performance multi-rotor, hybrid, fixed-wing, and optionally manned platform manufacturers, as well large commercial enterprises and outsourced fleet-services providers.
Published at Tue, 13 Nov 2018 10:07:56 +0000
The continuing growth of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) within the National Airspace System (NAS) presents challenges for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in maintaining the world’s safest aviation system while fostering innovation. FAA has processed more than 1.1 million UAS registrations for commercial operators and hobbyists since December 2015. Further, the number of UAS sightings reported to FAA has increased, with 2,185 sightings in 2017 (1) compared to just 238 in 2014.
To advance the safe integration of commercial UAS in domestic airspace, FAA published a rule for small UAS (i.e., systems weighing less than 55 pounds) in June 2016. (2)
However, the rule does not permit commercial UAS operations in airspace managed by FAA’s air traffic control without Agency authorization and approval. Further, our prior and ongoing work has shown that FAA is challenged to keep pace with the volume of requests for UAS to operate in controlled airspace near airports.
To help speed up airspace authorizations, FAA has implemented an automated system in partnership with industry called the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). LAANC provides near real-time processing of airspace authorizations below approved altitudes. FAA began a nationwide test of this system in April 2018 using phased, regional deployments. The system is now active at nearly 300 air traffic facilities, providing service to approximately 500 airports nationwide.
Given the significant safety implications associated with integrating UAS operations throughout the NAS, we are initiating an audit assessing FAA’s role in authorizing small UAS operations. Our objectives for this self-initiated audit are to assess:
(1) the impact of LAANC on FAA’s review and approval of UAS airspace requests; and (2) FAA’s procedures for coordinating and communicating UAS airspace approvals and notifications between airports, FAA air traffic facilities, LAANC service suppliers, and UAS operators.
We plan to begin the audit this month and will contact your audit liaison to schedule an entrance conference. We will conduct our work at FAA Headquarters, air traffic facilities, and airports across the country. If you have any questions, please contact me at 202-366-0500 or Robin Koch, Program Director, at 404-562-3770.
(1) As of October 26, 2018, there were 2,085 UAS sightings in calendar year 2018, primarily reported by manned aircraft pilots.
(2) 14 CFR Part 107 (June 2016).
Published at Tue, 13 Nov 2018 09:21:38 +0000