The US Federal Aviation Administration granted Massachusetts-based American Robotics permission to operate automated drones.
The decision limits operations to areas with light air traffic and daylight visibility and requires the drone not to exceed an altitude of 400 feet.
The agency said American Robotics’ operations will provide it with critical data for use in evaluating “beyond-visual-line-of-sight,” or BVLOS operations, from offsite locations.
“Moreover, the operations will achieve a reduction in environmental impact, as they will involve a small aircraft carrying no passengers or crew, rather than a manned aircraft of significantly greater size,” the FAA said.
Calling it a seminal milestone in the drone industry, American Robotics said this approval makes its Scout System the first drone technology to be able to operate continuously without the cost of having a human operator on site.