USI becomes first Kentucky drone operators cleared for night flight

Unmanned Services Inc. has become the first commercial drone operations company in the state of Kentucky that is allowed to provide nighttime flights.

The Lexington­based unmanned aerial services company was one of the first in the country toreceive the FAA waiver for nighttime operations for small unmanned aircraft systems.

By being able to operate at night, USI can provide enhanced services to clients and communities, such as infrared search and rescue assistance, disaster relief emergency management, and greater utility and transportation monitoring.

“Nighttime operations are essential to so many drone services we will now offer,” USI CEOMickey Marotta said. “This waiver from the FAA is an industry confirmation that USI iscommitted to providing the highest quality of safe and legal drone flights.”

With the waiver, drone operations can only be conducted in uncontrolled airspace unless given prior authorization from the FAA, and the aerial vehicle must be equipped with anti­collision lighting visible from at least three miles away. Flight operators must also have specific training for night operations, including recognizing visual illusions caused by darkness and understanding conditions that can degrade night vision.

More information about Unmanned Services Inc. is available on the company’s website.