From the Silver State, the Gold Standard

The Praxis Aerospace Cluster family of companies are service-disabled, veteran-owned, small businesses based in Southern Nevada. Using a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise and unique partnerships, PACI develops practical solutions for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) robotics and unmanned systems (UxS) that benefit from experience and “best practices.” PACI operates field facilities in the Eldorado and Piute Valleys for autonomous systems research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training.

Our expertise allows us to provide services in ITAR-Restricted and Federal Services, EAR-Controlled products, International Importing and Exporting, Licensed Spectrum, Unmanned Systems Infrastructure and Integrated solutions, UAS Repair Services, Training Services, and Airport Operations.

PRAXIS (process): the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realized.

PACI Selected by the FAA for BVLOS Rulemaking Committee

PACI, Inc is very proud to represent Technology/Network Infrastructure interests as a member of the newly-announced Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).

PACI was one of the first eight companies to receive a Part 31/33 Waiver enabling commercial BVLOS flight operations.

The BVLOS ARC is chartered to help the Federal Aviation Administration develop a regulatory path for routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations. This rulemaking committee will consider the safety, security and environmental needs, as well as societal benefits, of these operations.

Jonathan Daniels, FASTM, founder and CEO, will serve as the PACI primary participant.

Read more about the BVLOS ARC here.

Post-COVID UAS Operations

Restrictions Lifted June 1

The Clark County local COVID-19 mitigation plan expired June 1, allowing for the return of pre-pandemic guidelines that lift restrictions involving capacity limits, large gatherings and more. Increasing vaccination rates, a low positivity rate and normal hospitalization rates all justify the lifting of restrictions. In the event that hospitalizations should rise, additional mitigation measures may be required for the protection of the community.

It remains important for people to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on wearing masks. Masks still must be worn in hospitals and healthcare facilities and on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

CDC is announcing that it will be amending its Face Masks Order to not require people to wear a mask in outdoor areas of conveyances (if such outdoor areas exist on the conveyance) or while outdoors at transportation hubs. Therefore, masks are not required for vaccinated people conducting operations at the Searchlight Airpark.

CDC continues to recommend wearing of masks in these areas by people who are not fully vaccinated. Therefore, masks are required for not fully vaccinated people conducting operations at the Searchlight Airpark. We reserve the right to deny access to the Airport for anyone who does not wear a mask without restriction.

More guidance about masks is on the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/

ICAO Adopts New Standards for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and amends Chicago Convention

Montréal, 1 March 2021 – During its ongoing 222nd Session, the ICAO Council today adopted new and amended Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) driving important progress on the international safety and interoperability of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).

The new provisions will become effective on 12 July 2021, and applicable as of 26 November 2026. The most important pertain to Annex 8 — Airworthiness of Aircraft to the Chicago Convention, and cover certification requirements for remotely piloted aeroplanes and helicopters, in addition to the remote pilot stations (RPS) they are operated from.

The latest RPAS progress required minor modifications to Annexes 1 (Personnel Licensing) and 2 (Rules of the Air) of the Convention, and will eventually be supported by more substantial Annex 2 changes already in development. Previous Annex 1 Standards adopted by the Council in 2018 introduced a regulatory structure for the issuance of remote pilot licences for applicability as of November 2022.

Further information is available here

American Robotics Receives Historic Approval for BVLOS without Humans On-site After Testing at Searchlight Airport (1L3)

Detailed Testing of Detect and Avoid Capability at Searchlight Facility (2017, PACI, Inc)

American Robotics, a leading developer of fully-automated commercial drone systems, today became the first company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate automated drones without human operators on-site.

The company’s Scout System™ features advanced acoustic Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) technology that enables its drones to maintain a safe distance from other aircraft at all times. By developing a layered, redundant system of safety that includes proprietary technical and operational risk mitigations,

After numerous flights at Searchlight, including under an Experimental Category Special Airworthiness Certificate and using the Praxis BVLOS 107.31/33 Waiver, American Robotics has proven that its drone-based aerial intelligence platform operates safely in the National Airspace System (NAS), even when it conducts flights Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) of the operator.

PACI RPIC Supervising a Flight Under a 107.31/33 Waiver (2017, PACI, Inc)

Read their press release at this link.

Listen to an interview with Reese Mozer, American Robotics CEO, at this podcast.

Read more at Dronelife with this link, at JD Supra about their exemption here, as covered by Commercial UAV News here and a SlashGear here.

PACI CEO named to Industry Trade Advisory Committee

Many congratulations to Jonathan Daniels, CEO, who has been appointed as a Cleared Advisor to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Aerospace Equipment (ITAC 1).

The  Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs) are a unique public-private  partnership jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office  of United States Trade Representative (USTR) that engages business leaders in  formulating U.S. trade policy.

ITAC members are appointed jointly by the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Advisors have direct access to policymakers at Commerce Department and the Office of USTR. In such capacity advisors assist in developing industry positions on U.S. trade policy and negotiating objectives.

You can find more information about the ITAC here, as well as a list of current members here.

MissionGo Completes Longest Organ Delivery UAS Flight

Courtesy of MissionGO (2020)

US-based MissionGO, a provider of unmanned aviation solutions, and Nevada Donor Network, an organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the state of Nevada, have announced two successful test flights carrying a human organ and tissue via a UAS on 17 September, 2020.

Longest organ delivery via UAS

The second flight, which delivered a research kidney from the Searchlight Airport (1L3) to a location outside of the town of Cal-Nev-Ari, marked the longest organ delivery flight in UAS history. This flight surpassed the distance of a historic flight in April 2019 when MissionGO team members Anthony Pucciarella and Ryan Henderson, in their roles at the University of Maryland UAS Test Site and in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center, delivered the first kidney by UAS that was then successfully transplanted into a patient.

MissionGO chose Searchlight Airport (1L3) as an appropriate location for organ delivery testing because of its unique environment. The sparsely populated area, wide open terrain, class G airspace, flexible access, and unparalleled support from Praxis Aerospace Concepts International make this an ideal testing ground.

The staff and personnel from Praxis Aerospace Concepts International make operating unmanned aircraft here easy and safe for all types of UAS.

Read more about this flight in the original press release here, at Air and Rescue’s article here, follow the updates on Linkedin here, or on Twitter here.

Contact Searchlight Center here for more information, or call 702-586-1160 to schedule.

PACI Operations during COVID-19

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a statewide closure of all “nonessential” businesses for 30 days amid the coronavirus outbreak. Update: On Friday, May 29, Nevada entered Phase 2 of Nevada’s COVID recovery plan.

We are very supportive of the Governor’s mandate, and have reduced operations at the Searchlight Airpark to only those deemed essential under the new guidelines.

Most businesses reopening in the coming weeks will be forced to limit operations by 50% of their usual capacity to allow customers to observe social distancing standards. These restrictions also apply to tenant and/or guest operations at the Airport.

Employees are required to wear face masks – at least for the duration of Phase 2.

PACI business will continue using telecommuted resources to the full extent possible while we evaluate the full extent of the impact of this pandemic on our business model and pipeline.

We will provide updates here as this situation develops.

COVID-19 UAS Operations

  • As the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, unmanned aircraft – more popularly known as drones – have the potential to be a useful tool to perform important services.
  • Specifically, the FAA supports using drones for response efforts to provide public safety and support benefits.
  • If you’re thinking about flying your drone to support this effort, you have several options:
    • Fly under part 107, with or without a waiver – the most broadly applicable option
    • Fly as a  public aircraft operation (PAO) – for law enforcement, first responders, or other public safety/government officials
  • When considering your options, be sure to remember that:
    • Delivering goods by drone is allowed under part 107 (sUAS rule) as long as you maintain visual line-of-sight with the drone and comply with all aspects of the rule
    • Never carry hazardous materials unless you’ve received authorization from the FAA
    • Drone operators needing to fly in controlled airspace that is not currently included in LAANC, or a disaster temporary flight restriction, must contact the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) by emailing 9-ATOR-HQ-SOSC@faa.gov.
  • Whatever operational path you take, the FAA strongly recommends you coordinate with local government and/or public health officials, and/or the community you are intending to serve, before flying in support of COVID-19 response efforts. This is a pre-requisite for the FAA to expedite approvals outside of normal processes.
  • The FAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed. The FAA’s UAS Support Center is also available to help if you have questions at 844-FLY-MY-UA or uashelp@faa.gov.

ANSI UAS Roadmap 2.0 Released for Public Comment

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) released today for public review and comment a working draft of the Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Version 2.0) being developed by the Institute’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC).

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation in the UASSC, both as a corporation and in concert with our CEO’s work within ASTM.

Read the official press release from ANSI here

ASTM Releases Public Safety Remote Pilot Standards

ASTM International has approved a new standard establishing minimum training requirements for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drone) operators. The new standard, which will be published as F3379, addresses general, field and search-specific knowledge and skills for UAS pilots operating from remote locations. According to ASTM, it was designed to support public safety agencies fielding UAS teams.

Courtesy of NIST (2020)

“While other ASTM standards address the general and overarching aspects of UAS, the new standard focuses on the specific challenges for public safety remote pilots within their operational environment,” said Praxis Aerospace Concepts International CEO and ASTM International member Jonathan Daniels.

Read more from AVweb here