LJA Receives Second FAA Approval for BVLOS Drone Operations

LJA Receives Second FAA Approval for BVLOS Drone Operations

January 9, 2024

HOUSTON, TX – LJA is proud to announce that we have successfully secured our second Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flight operations. This Non-Geographic approval, often referred to as a ‘Non-Geo’, removes the restriction to specific geographic locations that typical BVLOS waiver mandates. This waiver allows LJA to conduct BVLOS operations anywhere in the United States in Class G airspace. LJA now joins 11 other entities that have achieved such approval from the FAA.

This significant achievement brings several benefits:

  1. Legal Flight Operations: LJA can now conduct drone flights legally throughout the United States, eliminating VLOS compliance.
  2. Time Efficiency: The streamlined BVLOS application process allows us to bypass extensive drafting and review periods. The streamlined process also enables immediate project execution upon approval. This saves valuable time and ensures swift project delivery.
  3. Cost Effectiveness: With reduced time spent on drafting BVLOS applications, our clients benefit from cost-effective solutions. Which will allow them to maximize their investments.

Pioneering LiDAR Aerial Missions

Adhering to FAA Part 107 regulations, which require maintaining a UAS in Visual Line of Sight (VLOS), has presented ongoing challenges. This is especially true in rural or undeveloped areas. LJA proactively pursued a BVLOS waiver, recognizing the need to address these real-world scenarios. Gaining a BVLOS waiver is considered one of the most coveted and challenging accomplishments in the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) world. It involves an intricate process of drafting and securing approval, typically taking several months. This timeline does not align with the time-sensitive nature of aerial projects (e.g. LiDAR, photogrammetry, etc.), where immediate action is often required upon client approval.

LJA’s BVLOS achievement significantly enhances our ability to conduct aerial LiDAR operations seamlessly and legally. This is especially true in situations where Visual Line of Sight is unattainable.

“Expecting to achieve VLOS at all times during a project flight, is just not realistic and has always created ongoing challenges in the field,” said Robert Wilhite, Geospatial Manager at LJA. “Now that we have obtained this Non-Geo BVLOS approval, we can continue focusing on servicing our clients in real-time without the handicap of extremely limited flight operations.  We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the civil engineering industry.”

By leveraging the benefits of BVLOS flight operations, LJA can continue to deliver exceptional value to clients and propel the industry forward.


For More Information Contact:

Melody Olmos
Content Strategist

About LJA

LJA is an employee-owned, full-service, comprehensive multi-disciplinary consulting firm. With offices across the nation, we offer one-source, one-stop reliability for all of our clients, when and where they need us. We operate within eight comprehensive sectors, enabling us to effortlessly assemble successful project teams. These teams consist of but are not limited to civil, structural, and electrical engineers, along with hydrologists, GIS designers, and surveyors.