Autonomous flight company Skydio has recently announced that it has obtained nationwide approval from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) for conducting drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). This approval enables streamlined BVLOS operations utilizing Skydio Dock and Remote Ops, leveraging the company's AI and autonomous technology to facilitate safe drone operations in close proximity to structures, a feat that proves challenging for manual drones.
What sets this approval apart is that it eliminates the need for additional crew members such as visual observers or crewed aircraft detection technology, addressing significant concerns faced by operators. The approval encompasses the entire country of Japan, with only a few exceptions. Prior to takeoff, operators are required to submit a flight area notification through JCAB's web portal, ensuring efficient and secure remote inspections of critical infrastructure.
Skydio CEO Adam Bry stated,
"This waiver represents a notable moment for the drone industry and highlights regulators' responsiveness to the advancements in AI and autonomy that are shaping the future of drones and delivering substantial value for organizations. Through Skydio Dock and Remote Ops, organizations gain access to real-time data, enabling them to make informed decisions that prioritize worker safety, enhance operational efficiency, and contribute to thriving communities. Autonomous remote drone operations facilitate inspections of challenging and hazardous areas from the comfort of an office."
This approval not only underscores Skydio's commitment to supporting its customers but also showcases its ability to deliver innovative products with new applications while securing unique regulatory approvals. It signifies a significant milestone in the drone industry, setting the stage for further advancements in autonomous drone operations.