Florida Surveying Firm Wins FAA UAS Approval
Pickett and Associates Inc., a full-service surveying and mapping firm based in Florida, has obtained a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act (FMRA) Section 333 exemption authorizing commercial aerial data collection from small unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Data acquired from UAS sensors will be used for mapping, surveying and inspection purposes.
“This is a huge boon for our clients as the FAA authorization enables the UAS to place actionable information in our hands within minutes, whereas our manned methods required days and extensive man hours. UAS can also provide higher quality still imagery and video than traditional aircraft,” says Mike Leahy, Pickett’s chief operating officer. “The authorization opens the door for new business opportunities as we harness the advantages of this advanced technology.”
To better provide for its clients, Pickett worked for more than a year to incorporate advanced UAS technologies into its business model and petition for the FAA exemption. The recent exemption marks the successful culmination of those efforts.
Pickett is required to closely follow operational restrictions imposed by the FAA when operating the UAS to ensure the protection of persons and property on the ground or in the air. The firm is in the process of establishing procedures and practices to ensure full compliance with the FAA authorization and is set to begin providing commercial UAS services in July 2015.
Pickett and Associates Inc., is a licensed surveying and mapping firm headquartered in Bartow, Fla., that provides recurring services for commercial industries, utilities, government agencies, and agricultural operations. Primary surveying and mapping services cover the Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean. Pickett has completed projects across the country and Canada, as well as in Central and South America. The firm is a registered professional surveying firm in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.