Policy & regulations

Skydio gets nationwide approval for flying drones beyond visual line of sight in Japan

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Skydio, a prominent drone manufacturer in the United States and a global leader in autonomous flight, has announced a groundbreaking achievement. The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) has granted Skydio an extraordinary nationwide approval for flying drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) using remote operations. This approval, considered one of the most advanced regulatory clearances worldwide, paves the way for streamlined BVLOS operations using Skydio Dock and Remote Ops.

By leveraging Skydio's cutting-edge AI and autonomous technology, customers can now utilize drones for various critical tasks such as monitoring complex infrastructure, inspecting security perimeters, and assessing disaster-stricken sites. Unlike manual drones, Skydio's drones can safely navigate close to structures even when operated remotely without an on-site pilot, offering unparalleled capabilities in challenging environments.

Safety and efficiency

Under the JCAB approval, there is no need for additional crew members or specialized technology to detect crewed aircraft, eliminating significant hurdles faced by drone operators. The approval applies throughout Japan, with limited exceptions, and operators are required to provide flight area notification via JCAB's web portal before takeoff. With this new permission, operators can conduct remote inspections of crucial infrastructure, including buildings, roads, power plants, and areas affected by natural disasters, ensuring safety and efficiency without endangering human lives.

Milestone

Adam Bry, the CEO of Skydio, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "This waiver marks a momentous milestone for the drone industry and demonstrates regulators' response to the remarkable advancements in AI and autonomy that are shaping the future of drones. It brings immense value to organizations by granting them real-time data for informed decision-making, enhanced worker safety, improved operational efficiency, and the overall betterment of their communities. Autonomous remote drone operations enable inspections in inaccessible and hazardous areas from the safety of an office."

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