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In the News

Pillsbury Secures First-ever FAA Exemption for Drone Flights after Dark

As mentioned by: The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Information Week
April 22, 2016

The sun may set on unmanned aircraft, but that’s ok. An Ohio based company is getting the first shot at UAS operations after dark.

Industrial Skyworks USA, which uses drones for industrial inspections, was granted an exemption for commercial UAS flights at night. It took the company more than a year to convince the Federal Aviation Administration that it could safely operate them after dark.

As a result, the FAA will hold Industrial Skyworks’ pilots to more stringent requirements than it has other commercial operators to ensure they understand the potential risks of flying at night. UAS used for nighttime operations must also be equipped with lights so they are visible to both the operator on the ground and other aircraft.

FAA officials “took their time to carefully evaluate our application,” but in the end “we demonstrated that nighttime (operations) can enhance commercial missions while reducing risks to people and property,” said Aviation, Aerospace & Transportation partner and UAS team leader Ken Quinn.

Aviation, Aerospace & Transportation partner Jennifer Trock and associate Graham Keithley rounded out the Pillsbury team advising on the matter.

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