Night drone flights for North Dakota

Night drone flights for North Dakota

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US: North Dakota became the only state to allow high drone flights both day and night. The FAA approved a plan last week that allows drones to be flown up to 1,200 feet above the entire state and permits flights at night. The other six sites where researchers are trying to figure out how to integrate unmanned aircraft into civilian airspace, are limited to a 200-foot blanket and daylight hours. Officials at the Northern Plains site wasted no time getting up in the air at night last week with the Draganflyer X4ES, which was monitored by three University of North Dakota pilots.

The move will really expand and encourage the type of operations one can conduct. For instance, some precision agriculture sensors are designed to function at a minimum altitude of 250 feet, and drones that would be flown to look for hot spots in wildfires or used for search-and-rescue missions generally work better at a higher altitude because it gives the cameras a broader range. Alaska, New York, Nevada, Texas and Virginia also were selected in December 2013 as national test sites for unmanned aircraft, which the FAA does not currently allow for commercial use.

Source: Suas news