Valmont Industries Gains Nationwide Drone Waiver from FAA
Valmont Industries announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted the company a nationwide Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) waiver.
The BVLOS waiver gives Valmont the ability to fly their multi-hour capable unmanned drones for commercial inspections of utility lines across the nation at a moment’s notice, eliminating the need to wait for geographic approval from the FAA. In addition to the removal of the geographic restriction, the entire diverse fleet of Valmont’s unmanned aerial systems was included.
“This nationwide waiver goes hand in hand with the primary goal of Valmont providing our customers more efficient and timely service through technology,” says Angi Chamberlain, vice president of UAS Technology Services for Valmont. “Using drone technology allows us to reduce costs and provide an improved alternative to manned aviation.”
Using drone technology allows Valmont to collect high-resolution images and infrastructure performance data safely and quickly. It also opens the door to future waivers as the company moves toward a completely autonomous solution.
“To our knowledge, we are one of the first five entities to receive this waiver arrangement,” explains Aaron Schapper, Valmont group president of Infrastructure. “We see this as a clear endorsement from the FAA, acknowledging that Valmont has the right people, training, technology and a proven history for continuous advancement of operational innovation.”