Nationwide BVLOS waiver granted to Okay-State Polytechnic Campus – Drones Information


The ability of the Polytechnic Campus at Kansas State University to fly unmanned aircraft systems out of line of sight will be expanded.

Campus Applied Aviation Research Center has received a new exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration that allows K-State Polytechnic to fly unmanned aircraft out of sight (BVLOS) in all Class G airspace nationwide. Most UAS flights take place in Class G airspace, so the K-State Polytechnic and Applied Aviation Research Center can improve research, education and training opportunities.

In addition to the implementation of flights in the entire airspace of class G, this new waiver also enables the remote pilot in command to fly from a mobile command center. Flying from a mobile command center enables a controlled environment, meaning pilots can fly distraction-free out of the elements and monitor not only the live UAS feed, but also weather, manned traffic, telemetry feed and more. This type of training situation provides the students with experience that is in high demand in the UAS industry as well as valuable training experience for professionals in public safety, emergency response and more. This waiver will also allow K-State Polytechnic to continue research activities that will advance the industry.

“The Kansas State Polytechnic’s commitment to its students is evident in the approval of this latest BVLOS waiver,” said Spencer Schrader, UAS flight instructor at K-State Polytechnic and author of the FAA waiver application. “Both for-credit and non-credit students will reap the benefits of this waiver and provide them with experience with operations that are severely limited in the current Part 107 legal framework.”

K-State Polytechnic is a nationally recognized leader in the UAS industry. He is a member of the Kansas UAS Joint Task Force and was the first university in the country to receive a BVLOS waiver from the FAA in 2018 allowing the K-State Polytechnic to fly in a single location over the pilot’s line of sight and the visual observer. K-State Polytechnic is also a key partner of the Kansas Department of Transportation, one of nine facilities across the country that are part of the FAA’s integrated UAS pilot program.

“We are committed to continually evolving our UAS program to ensure that our students are ready to enter the UAS industry with a wide range of relevant experiences,” said Kurt Carraway, UAS executive director of the Applied Aviation Research Center and head of department Program. “With this waiver, we can train how our industrial partners want their pilots to operate. I take pride in our ability to conduct thorough operational risk assessments and articulate them in security cases like this in order to gain FAA approval for advanced UAS operations. “

The K-State Polytechnic and the Applied Aviation Research Center offer first-class UAS education and training in bachelor and professional areas. Visit the K-State Polytechnic UAS website for more information on training and collaboration opportunities.

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