FAA OKs San Diego Gas & Electric UAS Test; Dave Geier Comments

BlackjackUASThe Federal Aviation Administration has approved a test airspace for San Diego Gas & Electric to research and train flight crews on a small unmanned aircraft system.

SDG&E will evaluate how to inspect gas lines, locate power outage sources and access remote areas using small UAS, SDG&E said Friday.

Dave Geier, SDG&E’s vice president of electric transmission and system engineering, said the utility intends to boost its response system for emergencies.

The public utility will perform the testing within the airspace in Eastern San Diego County by using UAS-mounted cameras to inspect utility equipment and transmit images to the control system.

The FAA and SDG&E incorporated privacy considerations into the testing protocol for the pilot program.

The FAA also approved a 100-yard diameter airspace in San Diego for training operations.

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