Valmie Receives FAA 333 Exemption

There was a lot of enthusiasm at Valmie Resources when we received the news that our company had received the sought after FAA 333 Exemption to commercially operate unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System.This authority is being leveraged to grant case-by- case authorization for certain unmanned aircraft to perform commercial operations prior to the finalization of the Small UAS Rule, which will be the primary method for authorizing small UAS operations once it is complete.When the excitement died down we began a thoughtful and careful consideration about what our authorization signified. As U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiasts are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility.”First, for us it means we are pioneers in this emerging space. We are among the first to have the ability to fly commercially and therefore will forever be viewed as industry trailblazers. We take this responsibility very seriously as we move forward with growth plans in a responsible manner.Next, we will fly safely. With every negative drone incident our entire industry suffers a setback. We plan to follow applicable safety guidelines and never do anything that will damage the evolution of this exciting sector.Last, we are committed to the overall growth of the drone sector as well as the growth of Valmie, and we are open to collaborations that will not only move our companies forward but also the entire industry. We are pleased with the partnerships we have formed thus far and look forward to partnering with other like-minded companies that hold a vision of drones for good in the years...

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Drones Taking Center Stage at CES 2016

Happy New Year! I hope you are coming back from a great holiday season and the New Year brings you peace, joy and lots of awesome futuristic gadgets!And speaking of futuristic devices, unmanned systems are revolutionizing the way we capture and monitor information. The topic of drones has been one of the hottest news items in technology during the past two years. Drones and other unmanned systems have taken off as a unique commercial tool, regardless of whether flight is controlled by onboard computers or remotely from the ground.At the massive CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2016, unmanned systems are figuring heavily, where a record 27 recognized and new drone manufacturers have descended on Las Vegas to demonstrate their new technology.What are we likely to see at CES regarding the drone world? Valmie is just getting started checking out the exciting exhibits and conferences, but to their current controversial nature, drones will certainly place added importance on flight safety this year. Manufacturers will be featuring autopilot and homing features designed to minimize near misses and accidents. Improved battery life and extended flight times are also expected be demonstrated.Experience some highlights of the variations in design and functionality of this exciting technology and check out the next wave of advancements in the Unmanned Systems Marketplace at CES, January 6 through 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.See you...

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Package Delivery in 30 Minutes

Shop online, hit the “buy” button and get your product 30 minutes later. How futuristic is that?The future is now at Amazon. Recently, the retail giant revealed the latest prototype of drones it will deploy as part of its Prime Air Service using unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver packages in less than 30 minutes.According to details released Sunday by Amazon, the “octocopter” drones weigh 55 pounds and can carry packages weighing up to 5 pounds. The drones fly under 400 feet and use “sense and avoid” technology to dodge potential obstacles en route to their delivery destinations.Amazon says they are testing drones in “multiple international locations” and will launch the service once the company has “the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision.”Although the plan will require more safety testing and FAA approvals in the U.S., Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos estimates that delivery-by-drone, dubbed Amazon “Prime Air,” will be available to customers as soon as 4-5 years.Other companies are getting in on the act. Google is eyeing 2017 for the launch of a drone delivery operation transporting packages to consumers by drone. David Vos of Google’s Project Wing — the internal project for testing drone use – recently talked about the project to an audience at an air traffic control convention near Washington, D.C.Google is not the only company exploring drone delivery. Last month, Walmart revealed it was seeking permission from the FAA to test drones for deliveries.As a baby boomer who grew up watching the Jetsons, I get wildly enthusiastic about news like this. How about...

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Drones South of the Border

The commercial drone market is continuing to develop south of the border. From the Caribbean coast in Mexico and the Amazon rainforest to the Argentine Pampas, drones are busy assessing weather damage, surveying timberland and monitoring crops and livestock. Large businesses are already profiting, and smaller companies are beginning to reap the benefits as well. While many countries are widening their homegrown drone technology, several U.S. drone producers are looking to create production facilities in Latin America to make the technology more available. Valmie is there, and has recently signed an LOI with an international tech company to explore UAV collaboration. The agreement underscores Valmie’s search for unique teaming scenarios in less restrictive foreign environments to allow the opportunity to develop and perfect Valmie’s UAV platform more quickly. Check back for updates on this...

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Are You Ready to Fly a Drone?

The Consumer Electronics Association has forecast that 700,000 UAV’s will be sold this holiday season. People are excited about drones and their capabilities, and the use of UAV’s around the world has exploded.Most prospective operators – from consumers to businesses—want to fly safely, but many don’t realize that, just because you can easily acquire a UAV, doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose.Stay off the naughty list! If you will be among those fortunate new owners of a UAV in the coming weeks and you live in the U.S., you should be aware about “Know Before You Fly.”“Know Before You Fly” is a valuable resource that helps new drone users understand the responsibilities that come with UAV operation. It was founded by the three leading organizations with a stake in UAV safety – the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Small UAV Coalition. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is partnering with the founding members to spread the word about safe and responsible flying.Their website includes integration with AirMap, an app-based software system that provides UAV operators with accurate airspace information including the geographic data on airports, temporary flight restrictions, restricted airspace, national parks and NOAA marine protection areas.The website now includes an interactive quiz, Are You Ready to Fly A Drone? The quiz tests basic knowledge of UAV rules and the airspace. When completing the quiz, users are ranked on their ability as an operator.Go to www.knowbeforeyoufly.org to learn much...

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