Iris Automation Launches Canadian Drone BVLOS Program

Iris drone

Source: Iris Automation (file)

Drone startup Iris Automation this week launched the Canada Pathfinder Program, an all-in-one solution to streamline the complex steps required to achieve Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight approvals and experience.

Company officials say the program will address challenges organizations face in advancing commercial drone services for long distance and remotely piloted missions.

Iris develops advanced detection systems that bolster Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) capabilities which, in turn, enable safer commercial drone operations.

The California company partnered with two of Canada’s top remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) testing facilities for support, training and proving of BVLOS flight competency – Foremost UAS Test Range in Alberta and UAS Center of Excellence (CED) in Alma, Quebec.

The program will include flight training, assistance gaining BVLOS approvals, a BVLOS safety system, engineering and regulatory support, and test center access. The program is open to any organizations interested in operating BVLOS services inside Canada.

“Our work in Canada, specifically with Transport Canada and the RPAS test sites, has demonstrated the incredible opportunities the country offers for advanced commercial drone solutions,” Gabrielle Wain, Iris vice president of regulatory affairs. “We’re excited to partner with the CED Alma and Foremost as a way to bring the expertise required to local markets and help jumpstart the efforts for organizations keen to get started.”

William De Keiser, Director of the Cluster of Excellence, CED added:

“We see incredible interest in utilizing commercial drone operations but concerns about how to launch a program safely, efficiently and in compliance with current regulations. Teaming with Iris Automation to provide this complete program will help many companies to finally embrace the potential of drone operations. As a Canadian pioneer in the civil and commercial RPAS industry, we are proud to continue to develop the technologies and skills that speed up the advent of safe and well-integrated BVLOS flight in Canadian airspace.”


The consortium will conduct commercial missions over linear power lines in Alma, Quebec. Approval was granted to include the utilization of Iris Automation’s DAA system, Casia, which provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance maneuvers.

Iris Automation also participates in the FAA’s BEYOND program to advance more complex UAS operations BVLOS in the National Airspace System.

Iris Automation in the News

December: Iris announces the completion a $13 million Series B funding round.

October:  The drone startup partners with the City of Reno under the FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) to develop a river search-and-rescue program designed to equip the city’s fire department with drone technology for life-saving rescues.


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