Chaffee County has received approval for two Certificates of Authorization (COA) by the FAA for unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations. The COA’s as they are referred to, represent two distinct sparsely populated areas of the County that are authorized for UAV research to be conducted by the County under strict guidelines with qualified personnel.
FLōT Systems, a local UAV company headed by proprietor, Chris Vallier are overseeing the operations and testing of three separate unmanned aerial vehicles that were approved by the FAA . Two areas have been approved for conducting UAS flight operations in Chaffee County.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs are fast becoming the latest technological advancement and are being deployed or tested all over the world. Initial county UAV missions will focus on electric utility infrastructure which can be costly to inspect and maintain. The potential outcomes include an increase in utility safety and reliability while reducing customer costs. In addition to surveying electric utility lines which is referred to in the approval as aeronautical research engineering, the COA’s also allow for experimental operations for search and rescue, wildlife monitoring, agriculture support, and aeronautical research engineering. For further information on opportunities for working with Chaffee County on developing commercial UAS applications contact the Chaffee County UAS Advisory Board.