Wing has asked the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to waive some drone rules, a move that would allow it expand operations beyond a small city in Virginia, the FAA said in a notice.

“Wing is now seeking to expand and improve upon these operations to serve additional communities,” Wing said in asking the FAA for exemptions from some drone rules. The agency said it would accept public comments on the petition before making a decision.

Wing told the FAA it has recently “made substantial investments designed to increase both the safety and capacity” of U.S.-based drone operations. It has been accident-free for more than 17 months.

Wing wants FAA approval to consolidate remote pilot operations from local facilities “to regional operations facilities that are capable of safely controlling a larger number of aircraft simultaneously.”

Wing said as its expands operations, it plans to use a derivative of the current version “that has been shown to be reliable in commercial operations and is highly similar in its operational characteristics.” But it needs FAA permission “to identify and allow this alternative aircraft version.”

Wing also asked the FAA to conduct operator line checks every 12 months rather than every three months under its interim restrictions.

It said “existing requirements will make it infeasible to expand a light-footprint, distributed operation across a community,” adding that the proposed changes “will help ensure that more American households can experience the benefits of (drone) technology.”

Source: Reuters