Olsson Associates

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Olsson drones cleared for takeoff

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Linda Van Hoosen, Communications

Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Manager Jonathan Harris flies an Olsson UAS.Olsson Associates was recently awarded federal approval for commercial use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System of the United States. This is good news for clients needing services that include aerial photography and videography, photogrammetric surveys, or knowledge of suspected leaks at oil and gas facilities. With the permit, Olsson can now perform these services and others more quickly and cost efficiently using its UAS technology.

To view a video that exemplifies Olsson’s UAS capabilities, please click here.

Approval had been stymied by the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) challenge of integrating UAS for commercial operations into the National Air Space. However, in early June, Olsson learned that a waiver application submitted six months earlier had been approved.

Under their Section 333 waiver and corresponding Certificates of Authorization, Olsson has been given federal exemption to use the Draganfly X4 multirotor, the 3D Robotics Aero-M fixed wing, and the 3D Robotics X8 multirotor UAS models in conjunction with Olsson's existing services. Olsson's permit is one of approximately 700 that have been issued since April when the waiver program was instituted that expedited the approval process using temporary standards while the FAA continues to develop its rules. The high number of permits is a 14-fold increase from the end of March, when only 51 had been issued. Permanent rules are anticipated next year.

“This exemption is an important step for Olsson Associates in providing accurate, actionable, and defensible aerial data products to our clients,” said Jonathan Harris, Olsson's unmanned systems program manager. “Our clients are continually looking for new and innovative ways to reduce costs while increasing their safety of operations. UAS are an incredible tool to meet those demands.”

Olsson uses UAS for a variety of services that span many of its practice groups. Uses include aerial inspection, photogrammetric and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey, wildlife monitoring, and architectural pre-visualization.

For additional information, please contact Jonathan at 970.263.6029 or jharris@olssonassociates.com.

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