Big news! DroneSeed is the first and only company to receive FAA approval to use drone swarms to dispense agricultural payloads (fertilizers, herbicides, and water). In late April we hosted FAA inspectors at a Washington state site and passed our final milestone in the process, a knowledge and skills test to certify our aircraft and pilot. April 25th, the DroneSeed team received their approval paperwork.
Upon passing the FAA test, DroneSeed became the first and only company in the US with both a 107 multi-vehicle waiver to use drone swarms and a 137 Exemption to spray agricultural substances. Being the first company with both waivers uniquely positions us for forestry and agricultural contracts this year and beyond. CEO Grant Canary speaking about the achievement noted the emotions at DroneSeed, “We’re excited to start fulfilling our existing forestry contracts. We’ve already booked out our capacity for this summer and are now looking at fall projects with our NW customers. We have all been waiting for and working towards this and are excited to get going.”
VP Operations Logan Ullyott, pilot for the FAA knowledge and skills test, commented on the regulatory progression saying, “We have been focused on regulations since day 1. The FAA was very supportive of DroneSeed and we really appreciate their ability to quickly adapt to the changing landscape. Like us, they’re interested in how drones can make agricultural and forestry operations safer.”
DroneSeed began the journey to the FAA approval in the summer of 2016 as a part of Techstars++ and DCode42. It connected with aviation attorney James Mackler of Mackler Law Firm soon after who worked with the team to submit the requests to the FAA’s headquarters. In reaction to the approvals James wrote, “I am thrilled to have served DroneSeed and worked with the FAA to pioneer these regulatory approvals. This is not just a milestone for DroneSeed, but a small step in aviation history for the entire drone industry. I’m excited to see where this takes us.” James is now running for U.S. Senate in Tennessee.