We are excited to share a game-changing milestone at Avy that makes on-site operators no longer necessary. With the technology in place and successfully addressing regulatory challenges, we are now reaping the benefits of our efforts. Lets dive into the details of this achievement!
Compliance catching up with the technology
From a technical and operational standpoint, the Avy Aera is designed for remote operations. Avy Base, the software that is used by the operator and controlled from the Avy Operations Centre (AOC), enables the operator to plan the Aera’s mission, to control the Aera and also the Docking Station, a vital operational component. With the Aera's advanced technology enabling precision landing on the Docking Station, and real-time monitoring and communication facilitated by the Control Tower, the need for a physical operator on-site is eliminated.
From a regulatory standpoint, Avy faced some challenges and had to undertake efforts to demonstrate our capability and readiness. First of all, we had to prove that safety would not be compromised when operating without an operator physically present in the field. We did this by implementing strict safety protocols and conducting thorough risk assessments. Besides that, we ensured that the equipment used in the AOC is reliable and compliant with the required standards. This involved rigorous testing to build confidence and meet our safety standards. Last but not least, Avy needed to show that remote operations could be seamlessly combined with previously approved operations without compromising safety or creating overly complex procedures. Integrating the remote operations processes and protocols into our existing operational framework allowed for a smooth transition and ensured that safety was not neglected.
Approved for take-off
After undertaking these efforts, Avy's SORA for Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) remote operations has been approved by Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT). This approval marked the starting point for actual remote operations via the AOC, while the aircraft is located at a testing facility, which is about 40 km away from the AOC. We have also conducted commercial flights in the Port of Rotterdam, which is about 70 km away.
Being able to operate remotely brings numerous advantages. The transition to remote operations will result in a reduced need for human resources, minimizing the potential for human error. This enhances safety and contributes to cost reduction. Additionally, operating from a secure location indoors provides operators with a safer environment, shielding them from outdoor elements and environmental conditions.
While the Avy Flight Operations Team is making great strides in boosting the number of remote flight hours, which are increasing week by week, they have already conducted over 10 hours of successful flight time. While we will continue to build our experience when it comes to remote flights, we will also continue to add different types of operations in the never-ending effort to continue delivering increased value through the various components that make up the Avy offering.