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FAA issues certificate to allow unmanned aerial vehicle to fly over Crisis City

WICHITA– Flint Solutions in Wichita received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration for its Aerosonde unmanned aerial vehicle to fly over Crisis City.

The Certificate of Authorization (COA) is a major step in supporting unmanned aerial systems project at Kansas State University and will help applying UAV technology in emergency response situations, Dennis Kuhlman, dean of K-State College of Technology and Aviation said in a statement.

Crisis City is part of the Great Plains Joint Training Center next to the National Guard’s Smoky Hill Weapons Range.

Until now, the Aerosonde has been limited to flying in restricted airspace over the Smoky Hills Weapons Range. The ability to fly over Crisis City will allow it to be involved in more extensive search and rescue operations through the use of training sites.

The COA is a waiver that represents a procedural interim mechanism that authorizes UAV flight as the FAA evolves regulatory airworthiness, collision avoidance standards and certification requirements to be implemented through Special Federal Aviation Regulations, Kulhman said.