Cloud9Drones in the Houston and San Antonio Chronicle

Being one of the few exempt companies in the US that are paving the way for drone applications in industry, our company has been contacted by several reporters trying to get a better understanding of where the industry is headed and what challenges we face.

The industry is "busting loose." Our co-founder Jacob, was also quoted explaining that hobbyists and operators who ignore the FAA standards will cloud the publics perception.

The media is filled with news stories of hobbyists playing with the technology with complete disregard of the airspace and performing dangerous flights near airports and over crowds. The FAA should not be worried about placing intense restrictions on drone businesses, but rather on ensuring that drone hobbyists operate safely. Learn more about the airspace before you fly!

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Cloud9Drones Section 333 Exemption Granted

We are officially among the few exempt companies capable of operating drones commercially in the US. The FAA granted our exemption request in June, much earlier then expected. Due to the implications of this, our team has been extremely busy executing on the sales pipeline we have established up to this point. With some summer time breathing room, we are excited to share this news on our recently updated website. Thank you FAA!

FAA's new UAS Pathfinder Program Announcement

Today at AUVSI the FAA shared information about it's new project dubbed, Pathfinder, a program to research how to safely perform BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Site) operations in the US. This will take at least 24+ months to complete, but is a good step forward for the FAA.

The FAA teamed up with three US companies to perform the research: 

"CNN will be researching how visual line-of-sight operations might be used for newsgathering in urban areas.

PrecisionHawk, a manufacturer , will be surveying crops in rural areas using unmanned aircraft flying outside of the pilot’s direct vision.

BNSF Railroad will explore the challenges of using these vehicles to inspect their rail infrastructure beyond visual line-of-sight in isolated areas."

More here

 

Cloud9Drones Attends NATE Unite 2015

Cloud9Drones is the first drone company to attend the National Association of Tower Erectors Conference at Disney in Florida from Feb. 23rd to 26th. Our team learned the vast efforts in safety in the industry and heard first hand the dangers that climbers subject themselves to maintain this vital wireless infrastructure that we all depend on. There was much enthusiasm to see a drone company such as ours getting involved in the industry. We'll be there in 2016!

More about NATE UNITE here.

 

 

New FAA sUAS proposed rules (NRRM) released, better than what was previously expected

The Federal Aviation Administration released Sunday its long-awaited proposals for governing small commercial drones (sUAS), setting the stage for remote-controlled aircraft to join passenger planes in the National Airspace (NAS) within 24+ months. For now, drone operators will need the approved FAA 333 Exemption, like the one C9D has acquired, to fly commercially.  More info here

9 Insights Into Forthcoming sUAS Regulations

The FAA should be releasing the proposed sUAS rules very soon, and they seem to be more favorable than most of the drone community thought they were going to be. This is great news for all the US drone commercial operators whom are ready to start working out of the aka "Drone Grey Market"The FAA will not require a commercial pilot certificate for drone operations.

 

  1. The FAA believes drones provide great social and economic benefits.
  2. Drones will saves lives.
  3. The FAA will not require a commercial pilot certificate for drone operations.
  4. The FAA decided to accommodate all types of drone businesses by adopting the least complex set of regulations.
  5. The FAA decided to accommodate all types of drone businesses by adopting the least complex set of regulations
  6. The FAA considered, but rejected onerous inspection, maintenance and permitting requirements for drones.
  7. The FAA rejected technology as a substitute for an operator's sense and avoid responsibilities.
  8. Drone flights will need to take place between sunrise and sunset. 
  9. Drone flights will need to be below 500 feet.

Read more here

Obama Comments on Drone Regulations

After a small hobbyist drone crashed on the White House grounds Obama followed up with the FAA about how the US is managing this technology. Obama noted that there are “incredibly useful functions” for drones such as possible Amazon deliveries and farmers managing crops, but added, “we don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it.” That regulatory structure is currently being developed by the FAA and will undergo a period of public comment before it becomes finalized. The goal of these regulations will be to ensure drone operations are not dangerous, nor will affect peoples privacy.

Read more and watch a short interview with Obama on politico.com

 

FAA Advises Police on Drone Operations that Endanger the NAS

The FAA issued a guide to law enforcement agencies on how to handle encounters with drone operators. This request is the agencies response to the growing number of drones being flown recklessly by operators without an aviation background.

The FAA’s goal is to educate users, “but the guidance makes clear the agency’s authority to pursue legal enforcement action against persons who endanger the safety of the National Airspace System.

Read more at bloomberg.com

FAA Grants 5 More Commercial UAS Exemptions

  • Trimble's UX5 drone weighs 5.5 pounds and performs precision aerial surveys by taking digital photographs.
  • VDOS plans to fly Aeryon SkyRanger drones to inspect flare stacks for Shell Oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Clayco plans to fly Skycatch multi-rotor drones to survey construction sites.
  • Woolpert plans to fly Altavian Nova Block III drones, which weigh 15 pounds and are 5 feet long with a 9-foot wing span, to map rural Ohio and Ship Island, Miss.

Read more here.

 

FAA approves first official commercial drone operationsv

The FAA has announced its exemptions for several companies seeking to use drones commercially for movie and TV production. This is a big step forward for all commercial UAS operations in the US and has many significant implications. Any company can now file for an exemption from the FAA and many others have already submitted their requests. The C9D operations crew will shortly be among those companies.

Read more on nytimes.com

Google's Drone Delivery Program Impact

After 2 years of secret development, Google reveals its "Project Wing" drone program. The first phase of the program concluded in Australia with flight tests of a "tail-sitter" drone to be used for package delivery within minutes. By simply showing interest in drones, Google legitimizes the importance of this new growing industry. Google's involvement will also spark competition with Amazon, but their involvement may be more based on infrastructure rather than services. And with their history of working with policymakers, their involvement will have major impacts in shaping UAS regulations.

Read the full article at theatlantic.com

UAS Focus Day at the Oil & Gas Asset Integrity and Inspection Management Summit

UASConsultingGroup attends the Oil & Gas Asset Integrity and Inspection Management Summit held on July 28-30, 2014 in Houston, TX. The event brought together a broad cross-section of the oil and gas industry to cover issues with asset integrity across various operating environments and stages in the oil and gas life cycle. A focus day was held on the future integration of Unmanned Aircraft System in the oil and gas industry for asset inspection and assessments. The agenda is available here