BVLOS regulation: A glimpse at the FAA Type Certificate

By Roee Kashi CTO | Modified on June 11th, 2023

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BVLOS regulation: A glimpse at the FAA Type Certificate

Getting on the right side of BVLOS regulation is the aim of many drone manufacturers. Achieving the elusive FAA type certificate that will allow unlimited BVLOS operation is a much-desired outcome. But the process involves many challenging steps. The good news is that more and more companies have already received FAA part 107 and part 135 sections and are aiming for a full type certificate. This should give encouragement to others that the game-changing type certificate is close. It’s important to say that FAA regulation is being created on the move in partnership with the industry and the assumption is that the FAA will find different solutions suitable for receiving the type certificate.





The Challenges 

In order to get regulatory approval, manufacturers must demonstrate the maximum reliability of the platform for BVLOS flights. One of the key issues, among many, is connectivity. To satisfy regulators, drone operators will need to offer unbroken, redundant connectivity, for the overall reliability of their platform. Security is another concern, with on-board data security being required to maintain in-flight transmission. 

Once type certificates are issued, platform components cannot be changed. This makes choosing the right components a very important part of the process. Components must feature quality design elements to facilitate the reliability of continuous operation. Companies are encouraged to work with partners who offer superior solutions to known problems. Look only for the best components that have a record of regulation approvals/type certifications and extensive flight hours experience. Those partners will be able to provide continuous operation in longer ranges and increase the chances of receiving BVLOS certification.


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Companies are also advised to minimize the risk of wasting time and money by immediately seeking out professionals who have worked with type certificate applications before. Only work with the most qualified regulation partners. Iris Automation is one such company that can help with your BVLOS waiver approval application. You can also work with a law firm like Hogan Lovells who specializes in the legal aspects. In this immature and evolving market, the first movers will reap the rewards. 


The Solution

Operating BVLOS is possible! Regulators recognize that the market for unmanned aerial platforms is about to come to life. They are willing to work with applicants in order to move the regulation along. You can deal with the most common BVLOS regulation challenges by working with a class-leading technology partner like Elsight. Our Halo platform offers an elegant and powerful solution to the connectivity problem by fusing together different technologies to create a large operating range in one communication tunnel. 


Ebook BVLOS across the the drone industry


Halo’s use of hybrid and modular technology solves the problem of limited bandwidth UAV connectivity over vast areas. By combining multiple IP links, Halo maintains a network pipeline that ensures the continued transmission of data. Using its superior failover protection solution, Halo locates damaged transmission channels in its path and re-routes transmission to other suitable channels. 

Choosing the right components is crucial for BVLOS flights and regulations, so choose wisely. To solve the problem of security, Halo encrypts the data, splits it into packets, and transmits the packets over multiple links. They are re-combined and decrypted at their destination. This provides high levels of security in real-time and answers one of the fundamental regulatory concerns about BVLOS. 


Ultimate guide for drone connectivity 2021


Choosing the right components will make or break your application. Halo’s Modular hybrid solution has been tested over 3000 hours of operations, making it the perfect component partner for such a critical regulatory application. Upwards of 15 company integrations on more than 50 platforms have been completed with Halo.  

Look at your type certificate application holistically and select the right professionals to help you overcome the regulations. Partners like Iris Automation and Hogan Lovells will make the process easier. And lastly, We are all part of a fast-paced emerging ecosystem that is literally changing the world around us (or above us), be patient, the wait will be worth it in the end!


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Do drones or pilots have to be registered?

The FAA requires all drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) to be registered. In addition, these drones must be flown exclusively under the Exception for Recreational Flyers in order to be exempt from registration.

In the EU, it is the drone pilot that must be registered, unless they only plan to fly drones that weigh less than 250 grams and have no payloads capable of recognizing personal data, or drones that are classified as toys. Individual drones do not need to be registered unless they will be performing operations in the “Certified” category.

How do you apply for BVLOS certification?

The exact process for BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) certification will vary depending on location, but in most jurisdictions it will involve the local civil aviation authority – in the United States this is the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Typically, operators wishing to fly their drone BVLOS will need to submit extensive paperwork, including a thorough risk assessment, concept of operations (CONOPS), and details of the safety equipment used by the drone.

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