The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) in Tennessee says it recently received a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for training officers.
Huntsville, Ala.-based Avion Solutions Inc., which assisted WCSO in obtaining the COA in under three months, says Sheriff Jeff Long is looking to use the aircraft to aid the fire department in getting aerial images of large fires or vehicular accidents, assist the SWAT team during emergencies, or scan heavily vegetated areas for missing persons.
The COA will allow limited operations within a restricted, unpopulated area for training and evaluation purposes only. Once the training phase is complete, the agency will request jurisdictional approval to allow the department to add the UAS to its arsenal.
The initial training flights will occur in an area near the county jail complex, as well as the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center.
The aircraft being operated is a DJI Inspire 1, equipped with a 4K camera and an additional, rear-mounted FLIR thermal camera.