Flightworks Aims for Certified UAV Agricultural Operation

Flightworks' prototype spray drone.
Source: Flightworks.
Aviation Safety Management Systems Ltd (ASMS) is proud to be involved with the first UAV operation in New Zealand to apply for certification under a standard Civil Aviation Rule (CAR). While many UAV operators claim to be engaged in “agricultural” operations, none in New Zealand currently are. Agricultural operations require certification under CAR Part 137 (Agricultural Aircraft Operations).

Flightworks Ltd intends to gain certification under Part 137 for spot spraying and aerial application of herbicides. Certification under Part 137 also requires the aircraft and operation to meet other applicable Civil Aviation Rule requirements, such as Part 12 (Accident and Incident Reporting), Part 43 (Maintenance), Part 61 (Pilot Licencing), and Part 91 (General Flight Rules). As an example, an agricultural aircraft must be flown by a pilot with an agricultural rating, and a chemical rating must also be held for the application of agricultural chemicals.

ASMS is working with Flightworks to prepare the exposition for Flightworks’ application. As a first-of-kind application there are many issues to be worked through. An agricultural aircraft operation also has additional safety management issues that lie outside the prescription of the Civil Aviation Rules. We look forward to announcing Flightworks’ certification later this year.

For more information on Flightworks see their website.