Philadelphia, PA – On October, 3rd 2016, Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. became one of the first commercial Part 107 UAS operators to receive a Class D airspace authorization from the FAA. Under Part 107, commercial UAS operations are not possible within Class B, C, D or E airspace without an airspace authorization from FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC). Commercial operators wishing to perform flight operations in any of these airspaces must complete a waiver request detailing their intentions and ability to successfully operate within the specific airspace.
In a press release dated August 29th, the FAA announced that it would begin issuing authorizations on or after October 3rd, 2016. Keystone was able to obtain one of the first of these authorizations for a Class D airspace near its Philadelphia office. This authorization will allow Keystone to continue to support one of its close partners in bridge inspections and other essential services. Keystone has a long history of working successfully in congested airspace with its manned survey aircraft in the Northeastern US and throughout the country. Approaching UAS operations with the same attention to safety and detail, Keystone continues to be an industry leader in safe, legal UAS operations in difficult airspace. David Day, Executive Vice President and UAS Division Director, commented: “We hope this is just the first of many authorizations allowing Keystone to support the increasing requests for flights in and around congested airspace”. As the use of UAS expands and exciting new uses are found for the technology, integration into the national airspace in a seamless manner will continue to be vital for this growing industry!
Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. (Keystone), established in 1963, specializes in providing high-quality aerial surveys throughout North America. Keystone has flown millions of survey miles throughout the United States on projects with varied specifications. Keystone maintains four permanent locations; Philadelphia, PA (headquarters), Tyler, TX, Tucson, AZ and Los Angeles, CA. Keystone owns and operates twenty-one aircraft, eight large-format digital sensors, two Optech LiDAR systems, and nine metric film camera systems and six UAS systems. Learn more about Keystone’s capabilities.
Keystone owns and operates six UAS systems; both fixed-wing and rotorcraft or Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. The fleet includes an Altavian Nova F6500, a DJI Matrice, two Mavrik X8, and two DJI Inspire 1s. Having six systems and multiple pilots allows for quick deployment as well as redundancy and immediately translates to reliability, often uncommon in the UAS marketplace. The combination of sensors and platforms gives Keystone the flexibility to meet the needs of the many unique applications including mapping, inspection, construction monitoring, real estate, precision agriculture and as-built documentation. Learn more about Keystone’s UAS Division.