Dayton, Ohio-based Woolpert Inc. says it has been granted the first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) exemption for a surveying and aerial mapping company.
Woolpert will be using the FAA approval to fly its UAS commercially in designated airspace in Ohio and Ship Island, Miss.
“The data we will be able to collect in Ohio through this exemption will serve as the foundation for a proof of concept on a number of national applications for UAS,” explains Matt Hutchinson, associate and research scientist at Woolpert.
This exemption comes after years of research and development, as well as close coordination with the FAA, the company says.
“Woolpert has been providing surveying and mapping services for more than 50 years, with a focused commitment on the advancement of related technologies and processes,” says Jeff Lovin, senior vice president.
“UAS technology will enable a revolutionary leap in terms of capability, repeatability and efficiency when it comes to monitoring and mapping services. UAS will change the way we conduct some of our existing business in the not-too-distant future, but more importantly, will create completely new and world-changing applications we haven’t even thought of yet,” he adds.
According to Woolpert, this exemption marks a significant milestone for the state of Ohio, which has been making strides in developing training centers, technologies, data-processing techniques and advanced applications related to UAS.