In a first, FAA allows PrecisionHawk to fly drones where pilots can’t see them


The Federal Aviation Administration has given permission to a drone tech startup called PrecisionHawk to fly its unmanned aerial vehicles beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) in U.S. airspace.

The exemption represents a first in the country, and comes on the same day that the FAA implemented its Part 107 rules governing the way that businesses can use small drones, up to 55 pounds, in their operations.

PrecisionHawk, based in North Carolina, makes fixed-wing drones for use in agriculture, and cloud-based software called DataMapper to helps businesses save and analyze the aerial images and information they collect using drones.

Verizon Ventures, an investment arm of TechCrunch’s parent company Verizon Communications Inc., is a stakeholder in PrecisionHawk. The company has raised…

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