Choctaw Nation wins FAA approval for longer drone flights


Longer drone flights by the Choctaw Nation of Olahoma have been approved by the Federation Aviation Administration.

What it means for the large Oklahoma based tribe is “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” drone operations in the area of base operations.

Marcus Hartman, the Aviation Operations Senior Manager for the tribe said the approval is “critical to meet the growing demand for the many use cases of drones including, but not limited to, package delivery, searach and rescue operations, infrastructure inspection and much more.”

According to General Aviation News, the approval expands the original waiver to a nearly 43-mile-long area covering the tribe’s medical clinics, its Emerging Aviation Technology Center testing site and various other facilities.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) BEYOND Program has received approval from the FAA for an expanded Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operational waiver. It also is described as one of the largest of its type in the U.S. and covers nearly 377 square miles within the tribal reservation.

The newly approved waiver signifies that CNO and uAvionix have demonstrated to the FAA the aircraft DAA systems, procedures, and the control network meet the safety threshold for operations in the national airspace, officials explained.