The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently unveiled a set of proposed regulations which would for the first time allow routine flights over people and at night – with appropriate safety precautions.
The proposed regulations are expected to dramatically expand the commercial drone industry.
Under the new regulations, drones heavier than 250g would have to meet strict new safety requirements, such as the inclusion of a parachute.
And regulation would replace the need for waivers for certain operations.
ParaZero Limited, an Israeli-based company listed on the Australian stock exchange, specialises in drone safety technology – including parachute systems.
ParaZero claims to be the only company whose parachute systems have been used in several successful waiver applications for flight over unprotected people.
Significantly increase commercial opportunities
In a statement to the ASX, the company says the new FAA regulations would significantly increase its commercial opportunities as flight over people is a critical aspect in expanding the commercial drone industry.
Current FAA regulations restrict the flight of drones over unprotected people as a safety precaution. This has meant a slower rate of industry growth, due to the prevention of most drone operations in urban areas, such as surveying construction sites and package delivery.
Regulation would replace the need for waivers for certain operations, which have provided a temporary regulatory solution for allowing flight over people.
ParaZero says its SafeAir systems, when combined with certain drones, are designed to fit in line with certain aspects of the regulation, especially for flight over people, as its parachutes help to reduce the kinetic energy of a malfunctioning drone before it reaches the ground.
Proven to mitigate risk
Michael Huerta, Former FAA Administrator and member of ParaZero’s Advisory Board said: “ParaZero’s SafeAir Systems have already been proven to mitigate risk in real-life scenarios. This will help operators comply with the FAA’s requirements to ensure safety when operating over people.”
ParaZero’s CEO, Eden Attias, added: “The proposed FAA regulations are a step in the right direction for the US market to conform to similar standards already operating in other jurisdictions. They make good sense for an industry looking to expand and allow widespread commercial applications in construction, news and media, agriculture, first response and more.
“For the unmanned aircraft industry, the proposed new regulations are the equivalent of requiring all cars to contain airbags as a standard safety feature. They provide significant commercial opportunities for ParaZero, particularly as the inclusion of our parachute safety system has already been approved by the FAA in waiver applications for flights over people.
“The FAA’s flexible ‘performance standards’ are technology-agnostic, allowing for the rapidly changing industry to continue innovating. ParaZero’s state-of-the-art safety solutions enable us to work directly with manufacturers and operators to ensure compliance with any new regulations should they evolve.
“Globally, the consumer and commercial drone markets have been growing rapidly and are expected to reach a combined US$30 billion by 2020.
“A strong regulatory environment in the US, which permits additional operational uses with in-built safety features, could see that figure grow exponentially.”
ParaZero Drone Safety Solutions was founded in 2014 by a passionate group of aviation professionals and veteran drone operators.
The company boasts a strong IT and administration team with a four-person Advisory Board that includes Dave Sharma, the director and principal of Kelly + Partners solicitors in Sydney.
Mr Sharma is former Australian Ambassador to Israel and was the Liberal Party candidate for the Sydney seat of Wentworth vacated by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
ParaZero was established to address the industry’s primary challenge – safety – and to unlock the full potential of the commercial drone industry.
ParaZero SafeAir is a parachute that can be used with DJI drones.
It is designed to protect bystanders on the ground, prevent loss of payload and safeguard drone equipment by ensuring your drone always lands safely.
ParaZero’s SafeAirsystem uses real-time data analytics to identify and mitigate flight risks autonomous.
SafeAir uses independent sensors to constantly monitor and analyse the drone’s flight data and flight patterns. Critical drone failures are immediately identified triggering a series of safety measures.
In the event of a problem, ParaZero will cut power to the drone’s motors to avoid laceration injuries and entanglement in the parachute’s cords.
It does this using a Flight Termination System (FTS). When the power to the motors is cut, it deploys the parachute which is aided by a patented ballistic parachute launcher which can fully open the canopy in a fraction of a second.
Then the system will sound an alarm which warns bystanders below about incoming danger from above giving them ample time to move out of harm’s way. The drone will then (hopefully) land safely using a parachute.
Like larger aircraft, the SafeAir system has a small black box.
If a problem occurs, a post-flight incident report is created for analysis after the flight.
The SafeAir Autonomous Drone Parachute System for the DJI Phantom 4 is the first ever product to receive an FAA waiver for flight over people with a Parachute System.
The SafeAir system for the Phantom 4 weighs just 9.9g, so it won’t adversely affect a drone’s weight or performance.
ParaZero is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange under the symbol PRZ.
More information on the proposed US drone legislation visit: https://www.faa.gov/uas/programs_partnerships/DOT_initiatives/