The FAA has authorised Rantizo to use one pilot and a visual observer to take charge of up to three drones.
In a move that is set to see drone spraying take off across wider areas in the USA, the Federal Aviation Administration has authorised Iowa-based specialist, Rantizo, to use just one pilot and a visual observer to take charge of up to three drones.
Importantly, as well as being permitted to fly multiple drones at the same time, the waiver enables Rantizo to operate across mainland USA – all states with adjoining boarders.
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“Our vision is to ‘Fly & Apply’ on large areas with autonomous drone sprayers, so swarming is a critical component,” says Michael Ott Rantizo CEO. “Labour shortages in agriculture are a known and widely discussed topic. With our ability to now fly three drones at once, we are moving closer and closer to full autonomy of operation.”
As well as reducing the labour requirement, swarms of drones greatly increase output, with productivity set to triple to 16ha/hr. Rantizo says its Mix & Fill auto-tendering station, which will be released soon, will increase workrates to 24 ha/hr before the end of this summer.
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Michael Ott explains Rantizo’s waiver, authorising the multiple drone operation, is unique and provides big benefits. “Waivers are typically limited by geographical area. To our knowledge, we are the first drone company to receive a waiver for nationwide rural swarm spraying,” he says. “Now that Rantizo can fly drone swarms in all 48 contiguous United States it will truly empower our network of Application Service Contractors to provide cost effective and efficient drone spraying services nationwide.”
Rantizo has received these FAA approvals for swarming just one year after it became the first and only company to be approved for drone spraying in the State of Iowa. It has since quickly gained further approvals from other states.
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