/PRNewswire/PEARLAND, Texas — Pearland Police Department has been awarded a certificate of authorization (COA) to operate its drone as first responder (DFR) program beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operation, eliminating the need for human visual observers (VOs). This was achieved using Iris Automation’s Casia G ground-based air surveillance system.
The City of Pearland is a rapidly growing city south of Houston with a population of 129,600 and 179 sworn police officers. It covers a mostly residential area of 49 square miles, and includes major urban facilities such as hospitals, schools, colleges, and shopping centers.
Pearland PD is now able to radically improve its DFR program and how it responds to emergency calls. Drones can be dispatched immediately, circumventing traffic, and offering an advanced assessment of the incident scene and reducing risks to officers. This allows first responders to be ‘on scene’ virtually, in minimum response time, allowing them to observe the scene and relay critical information to other responding officers, fire or paramedics. These ‘early eyes on scene’ can be the difference between life and death, allowing for the appropriate level of response, including reducing the over deployment of resources.
This is possible through the use of highly automated drones, centrally managed by a small number of personnel. Operating BVLOS removes the requirement for the operator to be co-located with the drone, potentially increasing the ratio of drones to operators and exponentially improving scale and efficiency.
Quote from Chad Randall, Assistant Chief of Police, Pearland Police Department
“In a climate where manpower is impacting first responders across the nation, having a fully BVLOS drone as first responder program greatly enhances resource allocation while maintaining a high level of situational awareness for first responder safety.”
The approval for its Drones as First Responder (DFR) program required the use of Iris Automation’s Casia G system as an alternative means of compliance to the 91.113 “see and avoid” requirement. This is a significant achievement in scaling drones for public safety operations and is the first Part 91 approval secured using Casia G.
Quote from Jon Damush, CEO, Iris Automation
“Pearland PD has been operating Casia G systems since last summer, collecting and analyzing performance data and submitting to the FAA, which resulted in this approval. It’s a testament to the department’s commitment to fully utilizing drones to provide more efficient services across its region and an important example of how a thoughtful CONOP combined our ground-based system mitigates air-collision risk enabling BVLOS operations. We’re proud to be a component of Pearland’s safety case, and look forward to working with them and other DFR programs to provide these breakthrough capabilities.”
Quote from Charles Werner, director, Drone Responders Public Safety Alliance
“This landmark approval for Pearland PD is a game-changer. It enables drones as first responders to grow exponentially, helping emergency responders to maximize resources, while making communities across the nation safer.”