Landmark waiver lets drones fly into fire

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A landmark emergency waiver granted by the FAA has allowed Verizon to deploy industrial drones to inspect their critical infrastructure during the US wildfires, ensuring first responders have reliable communications for disaster response. The drones are made by a company called Percepto, which are currently operating beyond-line-of-sight for this emergency deployment.

The FAA granted Skyward, A Verizon company, a temporary waiver that allows company pilots to fly the Percepto Sparrow drone from their homes to inspect critical communications infrastructure near the Big Hollow wildfire in Washington. The waiver permits operations 24 hours a day, with less than 3 miles of visibility and no pilot or observer on site. This is the first time a Beyond the Visual Line Of Sight waiver has been granted that allows pilots to control the drone from home. 

The Sparrow drone platform is already able to land in high winds and in snow. Percepto recently

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