Tag Archives: conocophillips

ConocoPhillips to Use Drones in Alaska

26 Aug

by Ryan Koronowski / Think Progress

Credit: (AP Photo/University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, David Giessel)

Credit: (AP Photo/University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, David Giessel)

The FAA issued an approval in July that paved the way for a “major energy company” to fly unmanned drones in U.S. airspace. Yesterday it became clear which corporation would be using drones to aid its Alaskan oil drilling efforts: ConocoPhillips.

This marks the first time a private company has received permission to fly “unmanned aircraft systems,” UAS — or drones — in America for non-experimental purposes.

“Until now, obtaining an experimental airworthiness certificate — which specifically excludes commercial operations — was the only way the private sector could operate UAS in the nation’s airspace,” the FAA announced last month. FAA hailed the move as “a milestone that will lead to the first approved commercial UAS operations later this summer.”

“A major energy company plans to fly the ScanEagle off the Alaska coast in international waters starting in August.”

That “major energy company” is ConocoPhillips, as reported by Petroleum News.

AeroVironment, one of the two companies that manufacture the drones approved for use by ConocoPhillips, hailed the approval at the time: “This marks the first time the FAA has approved a hand-launched unmanned aircraft system for commercial missions.”

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