Currently all Public Safety Agencies must maintain visual line of sight when operating a UAS/Drone unless they have either a Tactical Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (TBVLOS) waiver attached to an existing COA, or they have a BVLOS COA. Though there are some limitations to the TBVLOS waiver compared to the standard BVLOS COA, the enhanced capability to fly an aircraft beyond visual line of sight in the event of an emergency adds a unique tool to your UAS program that once wasn’t possible. The key limitations to a TBVLOS waiver are that the UAV must stay within 1,500 ft from the pilot, 50 ft or less over obstacles, and fly no higher than 400ft AGL. Even with these limitations, UAVs can go to hazardous places in lieu of personnel, safeguarding the lives of your team and the community. The TBVLOS waiver truly expands your team’s capabilities.
The most common use cases for the TBVLOS waiver include the following:
– Water rescues, flying the UAV over flooded areas searching for persons.
– Search and Rescue, in heavily wooded areas flying the UAV under dense canopy, or over the tree line.
– Barricaded gunman, and high-risk arrests, keeping LE personnel in a covered location while using the UAV to determine threats, routes, and location of suspects.
– Reconnaissance missions, clearing behind buildings and terrain prior to moving agency responders into position.
– Armored Vehicle operations, launching and flying the UAV directly from inside the Bearcat, keeping supporting pilots safe and able to move quickly as the situation changes.
– Hazmat uses, sending the UAV into a contaminated zone while maintaining distance to identify risks and scenes prior to sending personnel in. UAVs also provide Overwatch/accountability of entry team members during operations within the contamination zone.