VLOS and BVLOS - what is the difference?


VLOS and BVLOS – each drone pilot must know well these important abbreviates. If you are new to drones at all, we shall explain them here.

VLOS and BVLOS - meanings

VLOS – means Visual Line Of Sight. As you can guess it’s about that the drone must be visible with an unarmed eye directly. And that condition must last during the entire flight. No matter where you plan to fly, you need to keep your drone under the VLOS. This rule is valid for all recreational drone flights. It is established for your safety, for the safety of other people, and your drone. When you are able to see the drone by yourself, this will reduce to a minimum the chance to get lost or any other unwanted incident.
Except for the rule for the VLOS, each drone pilot must follow some more rules. Most important are: check the forecast and always fly in good weather conditions, always check your equipment before the flight, check to local drone laws and regulations, keep people’s privacy, never fly near military objects and facilities, never fly near airports areas, flying over people or crowds is forbidden, calibrate the compass of the drone, make sure no objects will fall from the drone, fly with enough distance to nature reserves or animals, never fly above the allowed altitude. For keeping these rules our advice is to read the official authorities’ websites.

BVLOS – means Beyond Visual Line Of Sight. This type of regulation allows the drone to be outside of your visible range. For some specific operations, the drones may have permission to fly with a big distance. Industry can use this option for surveillance of big perimeters of areas, for inspecting different facilities, for monitoring large areas, and creating orthophoto maps. The benefits of allowing the BVLOS flights can save human effort in some dangerous situations. Drones can replace humans in toxic areas, in areas with high difficulty of crossing by foot. The UAVs can fly under this special permission if the company owner applies for it. The flights are monitored by the drone pilot via onboard instruments which are providing full parameters of the flight.
To fly a drone on BVLOS the drone pilot are trained in a different way. They need to have knowledge of meteorology, flight performance, flight performance, flight navigation. They need to have theoretical and practical training. This training must be done on a UAVO certificated company. The pilots must obtain a qualification certificate.

In some countries, BVLOS flights are allowed, but for now, in the United States, the situation is different. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) gives a special BVLOS waiver but getting it is truly hard, almost impossible. The statistics show that from 1200 BVLOS waiver applications from commercial drone pilots 99% are rejected. The regulation is very complicated. Drones and technologies are getting so fast developed so the regulations can’t answer their demands on time. On the other hand, the sky above the United States is one of the safest, thanks to the conservative nature of the FAA. The regulations are made with precise care to all aircraft on the air, with care to every single airplane, drone, or helicopter. The chance of collision is reduced to a minimum.

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