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FAA Approves Drone as First Responder Program BVLOS Operations for Oswego City Police Department

Bigfork, MT, June 13, 2024 — uAvionix, a leading provider of command, navigation, and surveillance technologies for drones, today announced that the Oswego City Police Department’s Drone as a First Responder (DFR) program has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) without Visual Observers (VOs) using the uAvionix Casia G ground-based detect-and-avoid (DAA) system. This milestone approval allows the police department to operate small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) as a first response to emergency calls, bringing enhanced response times, situational awareness, and safety to the public and officers.

A key factor in the success of Oswego’s DFR program is the implementation of uAvionix’s Casia G product. Casia G, an advanced DAA solution, provides critical airspace awareness, enabling safe BVLOS operations. The integration of Casia G ensures that Oswego’s drones can operate safely and effectively without the need for human Visual Observers, enhancing the overall efficiency of their response to emergencies. 

“We wouldn’t be celebrating this milestone today without the unwavering support of the Mayor and Common Council, whose dedication to public safety has paved the way for this groundbreaking initiative. Additionally, our gratitude extends to UVT and uAvionix for their invaluable assistance throughout this journey, underscoring the collaborative spirit driving innovation in public safety,” said Chris Baker, Systems Administrator and Drone & Robotics Coordinator for Oswego City, NY. 

“The achievement marks a pivotal moment for police departments, emergency services, and fire departments nationwide,” noted Jon Damush, uAvionix CEO. “The use of our Casia G product in Oswego’s DFR program exemplifies how advanced technology can enhance public safety operations. Future approvals for Police, EMS, and Fire departments adopting the same approach are expected, paving the way for widespread adoption of DFR programs across the United States.” 

DFR programs are revolutionizing the way police departments respond to emergencies. By deploying drones equipped with advanced surveillance and communication technologies, police can gain immediate situational awareness of an incident scene before officers arrive. For example, a drone may be able to confirm or refute the possession of a firearm or allow the captain to give guidance to a junior officer. This capability not only enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of police response but also helps in allocating resources more strategically.

uAvionix has been pioneering innovative technologies for the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace since 2015. In October 2023, they acquired Iris Automation, the original developer of the Casia G Detect and Avoid system. This acquisition strengthens uAvionix’s core offerings for enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, which include the Casia G ground-based system that detects nearby aircraft to ensure safe drone operations, and FlightLine, which collects and displays ADS-B surveillance data.

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