April 29, 2015

FAA Grants Exemptions to Topcon & Maine Engineering Firm

Topcon has received a national exemption from the FAA to fly its Sirius Pro and Sirius Basic unmanned aerial systems in the United States.

In a statement, Eduardo Falcon, executive vice president and general manager of the Topcon GeoPositioning Solutions Group said that “This exemption is exciting news for the U.S. marketplace. It allows Topcon to be a resource for end-users and provide UAS demonstrations and training. Aerial data collection has a strong impending impact on all the industries we serve, and the possibilities for survey, construction, and agricultural applications are seemingly limitless.

“Building on the success the Sirius models have already seen in the European and Australian markets, this exemption allows Topcon to expand on that momentum in the U.S.”

This news comes following the FAA’s summary grant process, which has greatly increased the speed at which the FAA can grant 333 exemptions. The total number of exemptions at the time that process was instated was 69. At the time of this writing, the total number is 246.

In related news, Maine-based firm Sevee & Maher has also received an exemption, making them the first in the state to be licensed to use a UAV for engineering-related services. “We are among a very small group of companies in the country with experience using this new technology for engineering purposes,” says Guy Cote, President of SME in a statement. Cote says they use their custom-built drone to perform aerial surveys, prepare topographic maps, 3D photos, and more.

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