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NZ forest research to apply for drone beyond-line-of-sight flying

Scion, the forestry Crown research institute, will become the first organisation in New Zealand to fly drones beyond line of sight when it seeks approval under new Civil Aviation Authority rules to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for forest monitoring.

Scion has been conducting publicly and privately funded trials of UAVs for the past three months, including flying along the edge of forests to evaluate tree harvesting and using a UAV with interchangeable remote sensing technology to transmit information on tree health and pests in North and South Island forests.

Scion project leader Bryan Graham said smaller forest owners struggle to afford getting vital information in other ways. In one example, using drones halved the cost of building roads through private forests, he said.

Scion was proceeding cautiously because it didn’t “want to be the first to have an accident” but Mr Graham said he hopes to gain approval for commercial beyond-line-of-sight operations by February.

Click here for source (National Business Review)

Photo: Innovatek

 

Posted Date: February 4, 2016

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