Butler County Times Gazette
  • FAA approves flight of unmanned aircraft in El Dorado

  • The FAA has granted two Certificates of Authorization (COA) to the City of El Dorado  to fly Unmanned Aircraft at El Dorado Municipal Captain Jack Thomas Memorial Airport for the next 12 months.


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  • The FAA has granted two Certificates of Authorization (COA) to the City of El Dorado  to fly Unmanned Aircraft at El Dorado Municipal Captain Jack Thomas Memorial Airport for the next 12 months.
    The COAs are renewable and is granted by the FAA to public entities desiring Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations and allows the entity to use defined airspace for specified times and includes special provisions unique to each operation.
    The City of El Dorado applied for the COAs earlier this year after signing an agreement with Flint Hills Solutions (FHS), a Butler County high technology UAS solutions provider.
    The agreement between the City of El Dorado and FHS includes the delegation to FHS by El Dorado to be the COA technical application administer as well as the UAS designated operator for the City at El Dorado Airport.
    Both the City of El Dorado and Flint Hills Solutions have agreed to work together to jointly promote the Airport as “UAS Friendly” to all public entities including emergency responders, law enforcement, fire departments, as well as state and federal organizations, requiring airspace, facilities and technical support to train and operate unmanned aircraft in support of their Public Safety mission objectives.
    The city and FHS have plans to construct a new operations and training center at El Dorado airport this year.
    “El Dorado airport will be a superior place for UAS operations  that allows for training and operations outside of Class B, C or D airspace,” said Roger Powers, president and CEO of Flint Hills Solutions. “Other airports we have evaluated are either too remote or too congested for safe operations of UASs. We are so fortunate to be able to grow with El Dorado.”
    FHS is an advanced technology company offering a broad and complete set of UAS products and services including rapid prototyping, payload and systems integration, flight operations services for emergency response and aerial inspections, FAA National Airspace System (NAS) development, training, as well as turnkey Unmanned Aerial System solutions.
    FHS customers include major Commercial and Defense Companies, Law Enforcement, Fire and HAZMAT Organizations, Homeland Security, Emergency Management Organizations, Department of Defense and the National Guard.
    “We are very excited to be a part of this exceptional opportunity for our city,” said Herb Llewellyn, city manager. “These COAs are just the official start of what will be a long and productive partnership with Flint Hills Solutions to grow high technology jobs in our wonderful city.”

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