North Dakota drone services and software provider Botlink was granted a waiver to fly a DJI Phantom 4 equipped with drone safety company ParaZero‘s SafeAir System over the crowds at the tailgating event prior to the game in the Fargo Dome. The drone flew multiple times over the stadium’s parking lots, providing real-time data to law enforcement so that they could better manage traffic and safety at the event. The footage was also shown during the game, giving fans a new perspective on the pre-game party. NDDOT had an information booth set up in the venue’s “vendor alley” for ticket holders to see the drones and ask questions of the operators.
The event was a major win for all participants: law enforcement, the UAS Integration Pilot Program, the NDDOT, and the drone industry – who got to prove the safety and value of drones in a fun and accessible way.
The day was the culmination of months of test flights and communications with the FAA, as ParaZero and Botlink provided detailed data on safety statistics and performed test after test in a variety of conditions. The SafeAir system is a combination of a uniquely designed parachute system – one that opens upward, in order to arrest velocity even from a low altitude – and sophisticated software that detects potential problems with the aircraft in order to determine when to deploy. With the SafeAir system on a Phantom 4, the FAA was convinced that the aircraft was safe to fly over people. Piloted by the experts at Botlink, the partners can claim a total success in demonstrating safety in a crowded environment.
״I am proud to announce, that after months of hard work we have succeeded to enable the first ever flight over people in the United States with our drone safety system,” says Eden Attias, ParaZero CEO. “This is a significant milestone for the company and for the drone industry to realize its full potential.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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