Canadian unmanned aerial systems (UAS) developer Draganfly Innovations Inc. has been awarded a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Section 333 exemption and Certificate of Authorization (COA) to operate commercially and conduct research in the U.S.
The exemption covers the Draganflyer X4-P, Draganflyer X4-ES, Draganflyer X6 and Draganflyer Guardian aircraft for use in aerial data collection, such as mapping, agriculture, surveying, aerial photography and inspections.
Draganfly says it first introduced its unmanned systems in 1999. The aircraft are used by public-safety agencies worldwide and first received an FAA COA in fall 2009 with the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office.
In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) flew the X4-ES system to locate and save the life of an accident victim. The RCMP system is being placed on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
As the industry evolves, the company explains, the FAA Section 333 exemption is critical as Draganfly takes steps to further expand its reach by conducting U.S. research and offering a broad range of aerial services throughout North America.