V-TOL and RelmaTech announce world first drone Day/Night beyond line of sight flights

BRISBANE, 10 March, 2017

V-TOL Aerospace, the leading Australian commercial drone maker, has extended its partnership with UK-based RelmaTech to claim another world first in drone (unmanned aircraft systems, UAS) operations, successfully conducting day and night beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights continuously monitored by an operational UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system.

On Wednesday 1st March this year, V-TOL exceeded current legal limitations using its unique flight permissions issued by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to commence routine day and night BVLOS operations. The groundbreaking flights were undertaken using V-TOL‟s fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAS at its Brisbane flight centre, sited 10km from Australia‟s largest active Air Force base, RAAF Base AMBERLEY, Queensland.

“V-TOL has successfully commenced its BVLOS flight program designed to develop and test appropriate operational procedures, minimum technical platform requirements and pilot training competencies”, says Mark Xavier, CEO and Chief Remote Pilot of V-TOL. “A testament to how these routine flights are viewed by RAAF operations is that AMBERLEY‟s FA-18 Super Hornets and C-17 operations are not affected by our UAS operations in this airspace. Vertical and horizontal separation is maintained by RAAF ATC and V-TOL operational procedures. Life goes on in a routine, professional manner.”

V-TOL‟s aircraft are now all fitted with a RelmaTech SIAM (Secure Integrated Airspace Management) tracking unit able to operate on 2G/3G/4G mobile networks. “SIAM makes the operating UAS „visible‟ at all times – day and night – not only to its pilot and operator, but also to Air Traffic Services and the pilots of other SIAM-equipped aircraft (both manned and unmanned) operating nearby,” added John Thynne, Aviation Solutions Director at RelmaTech, who was on-site to witness the significant milestone. “Because the SIAM feed from an operating UAS can be viewed in real-time, air traffic control has greater situational awareness of UAS operating within their active domain.”

RelmaTech and V-TOL are pioneers in building and using UTM systems to support commercial drone operations in non-segregated airspace, and are now conducting routine day and night BVLOS operations. “These beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations using SIAM enable advanced commercial UAS flights under complex conditions and represent another world first for the RelmaTech/V-TOL partnership,” says Philip Hall, Founding Director and CEO of RelmaTech.

V-TOL GosHawk II (FW) and Seeker (MR) BVLOS Flight Paths, Marburg QLD

V-TOL GosHawk II (FW) and Seeker (MR) BVLOS Flight Paths, Marburg QLD on 01 Mar 17

About RelmaTech

RelmaTech is a UK-based company specialising in the development and operation of integrated technology-based solutions that provide for the safe and secure spatial management of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle operations in any environment. RelmaTech also has representation in the United States and Australia. RelmaTech has secured a world-wide patent for its SIAM system.

About V-TOL Aerospace

V-TOL Aerospace is a Queensland-based Australian company that designs, manufactures, supplies, operates and supports fixed wing and multi-rotor enterprise level commercial UAS. V-TOL is CASA approved for remote crew training and advanced day and night UAS flight operations using a UTM. V-TOL customers include NGOs, global corporations, ASX 300 and Local, State & Federal Government agencies. V-TOL is RelmaTech‟s A-PAC agent and distributor for SIAM.