The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has approved that drones from startup DroneSeed can plant trees in areas that have been set on fire. Reforestation through unmanned aerial vehicles (VANTs) makes operation faster and safer, according to the federal agency. This is already the second authorization received by DroneSeed, and the company can also make use of drones for planting purposes outside the riders' view.
To do this, you must have a professional pilot in charge of the aircraft and have agency approval.
DroneSeed can now operate its seed planting drones beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) in forest and post-fire areas. That is, the company can make this reforestation and operate beyond the vision of a pilot. This authorization is, so far, an exclusive rating only for DroneSeed, and is the first company in its industry capable of this. BVLOS licenses are difficult to approve. According to figures released in 2018 by the FAA, more than 10,200 BVLOS exemption applications were submitted to the agency by commercial drone operators and 99% were not approved.
In the past, the FAA had also authorized DroneSeed to operate several heavy-duty drones of up to five aircraft, each weighing more than 57 pounds (this being the first and only FAA approval). This helped to secure a post-fire forest restoration project. DroneSeed is a US company licensed in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and is actively seeking the ability to operate in Arizona, California and Colorado.
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