Industrial Skyworks of Toronto has received the first commercial exemption for flying unmanned aircraft that allows operations at night.
The company specializes in aerial building inspections and plans to use high definition and thermal cameras to identify safety issues, energy leaks and other potential problems with a structure using an unmanned aircraft, according to a news release.
A 24-page exemption document written by the Federal Aviation Administration staff announcing the decision made its public debut last week. The company filed its original petition on Dec. 15, 2014.
ISW now has approval to fly the Aeryon SkyRanger, a small quadcopter that can complete flights of up to 50 minutes with a payload. The aircraft is manufactured by Aeryon Labs Inc., which is based in Waterloo, Ontario.
“We appreciate the significance of this new approval,” Industrial SkyWorks President Michael Cohen said in a statement. “We regard this as an opportunity to help define best practices and set the standard for nighttime inspection applications. Working with Aeyron Labs will help demonstrate to the FAA and the broader UAS industry that unmanned aerial data capture continues to have many benefits for the commercial market.”
With its exemption, Industrial Skyworks can fly up to 400 feet high within the visual line of sight of the pilot or an observer. Inspection operations must occur within 100 feet of the structure.
Its aircraft must maintain a distance of 500 feet from people and have safety lights visible from 5,000 feet away.
Industrial SkyWorks also must file a flight plan 72 hours before intended operations.