Building on a long history of collaboration on unmanned aircraft systems integration, the FAA recently updated and expanded DOI’s blanket area sUAS Class G airspace COA to include expanded provisions for Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. Previous agreements between FAA and DOI have included provisions for visual line of sight (VLOS) sUAS flights to 1,200’ AGL and night operations in Class G airspace and BVLOS flights within a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR).
The updated agreement authorizes DOI to conduct BVLOS operations in three specific instances after operators are approved by OAS For EVLOS and/or BVLOS operations:
"The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) UAS program would not be where it is today were it not for the support and assistance of our close partners at the FAA, said Mark Bathrick, Director of Interior’s Office of Aviation Services (OAS). Through this longstanding partnership, DOI has effectively integrated UAS in over two dozen mission applications and logged over 18,000 successful UAS flights in support of Department missions. This expanded Beyond Visual Line of Sight authority will enable us to leverage our extensive operational experience and the capabilities of current and future UAS to extend our ability to safely and successfully carry out our responsibilities as the largest public land steward in the U.S."