|New Department of Transportation regulations are paving the way for use of emerging technology to improve safety of America’s ROWs.|
In January, the DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new rules regarding the fastest-growing segment of the transportation sector: drones.
The new rules will require Remote identification for drones as well as permit drone flight above people and at night under certain conditions.
These new rules will finally begin to open the doors to facility operators to employ unmanned aerial vehicles on America’s ROW to help improve public safety and damage prevention efforts by facility operators.
“…by permitting the routine operation of small UAS at night 1 or over people under certain conditions.2 This rule is the next step in the FAA’s incremental approach to integrating UAS into the national airspace system (NAS), based on demands for increased operational flexibility and the experience the FAA has gained since it initially published part 107. This rule also builds on the performance-based regulatory philosophy established previously.” – from the Executive Summary.
Emerging Technologies on the ROW and for Outside Plant
There are many opportunities for facility operators to employ new technologies to help prevent facility damages and improve public safety. At times regulations hinder the implementation of these opportunities, but leaders in the industry find a way to continue to push the envelope and find ways to keep moving things forward.
My good friend Aaron Rezendez who works at the Innovation Center for Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), has a number of projects that are going to impact the industry tomorrow and into the future. PG&E is exploring the use of LiDAR and damage avoidance in ways I think All facility operators could learn from.
David Yoel is Founder & CEO of American Aerospace Technologies, Inc (AATI). David works on automated airborne threat detection and near real-time reporting system for routine pipeline patrol. His use of medium altitude long endurance unmanned aircraft systems could change the way we view patrol pipelines and observe overhead cables.