Percepto Achieves Regulatory Breakthrough to Scale Commercial Drone Operations

FAA exemption denial brings safety, sustainability, and security benefits to critical infrastructure facilities across the U.S.

Austin, TX, February 2, 2023 Percepto, an industry-leading autonomous inspection and monitoring solutions provider, today announced a first-of-its-kind exemption denial from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA’s denial provides cause for the whole industry to celebrate, as for the first time it allows Percepto to operate Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) without humans onsite, eliminating a burdensome exemption process that has been required to enable remote pre-flight check under Part 107.                   

To operate UAS BVLOS without humans onsite, the FAA has previously required both a Part 107 waiver approval and an exemption to 14 CFR Sections 107.15 (condition for safe operation) and 107.49 (preflight familiarization, inspection, and actions for aircraft operation). An onerous rulemaking process, an FAA exemption typically takes years to approve and is disproportionate to the risk involved. There is also nothing in the text of Part 107 that requires pre-flight inspections to take place in person. 

Percepto demonstrated to the FAA that the company’s pre-flight inspection went above and beyond the FAA’s Part 107 requirements and therefore did not require an exemption. Percepto’s procedures include UAS inspection with cameras on and around the base and images to confirm safe deployment. Percepto proactively engaged with the FAA to address its questions, exceeding the FAA’s expectations of pre-flight inspection processes.

This advancement for Percepto will benefit the entire industry as it seeks to streamline applications and approvals for BVLOS UAS operations.

“Percepto is very grateful to the FAA staff for their engagement and consideration of our CONOPS and technical information to reach this groundbreaking result for Percepto and the broader UAS industry,” said Neta Gliksman, Percepto VP of Policy and Government Affairs. “In these circumstances, we are thrilled with an exemption denial. We look forward to continuing to work with the FAA as we bring the significant benefits of scalable BVLOS UAS operations to the US critical infrastructure industry.”

“This decision’s implications for BVLOS UAS operations in the United States in the near-term cannot be overstated,” said Lisa Ellman, Chair of the Global UAS Practice at Hogan Lovells and Outside Counsel to Percepto. “The FAA is opening the door to the industry for more streamlined and timely approvals for BVLOS UAS operations and the realization of their benefits for many societally beneficial use cases.”

About Percepto

Percepto is the leading autonomous inspection and monitoring solution provider, revolutionizing how industrial sites monitor and inspect their critical infrastructure and assets.

Listed in TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021, Percepto’s AIM platform fully automates visual data workflows from capture to insight, leveraging the Percepto Air drone-in-a-box portfolio, alongside other robots and visual sensors. Using advanced machine learning and AI, Percepto AIM provides an end-to-end autonomous inspection and monitoring solution to assess risk, minimize downtime, drive efficiency, increase safety and reduce operational costs.

Percepto’s solutions are trusted by Fortune 500 customers on six continents including Siemens Energy, Delek US, Koch Fertilizer and ICL Dead Sea Works. The company is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards including Edison Gold Award and Frost & Sullivan Global Enabling Technology Leadership Award.

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