MVT innovates in BVLOS flight operations with drones

MVT GEO-SOLUTIONS, in partnership with Iris Automation, has been granted the first Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) by TransportCanada using onboard Detect-and-Avoid (DAA). The approval was granted based on the utilization of Iris Automation’s DAA system, called Casia, which provides commercial drones with automated collision avoidance maneuvers.

The waiver permits flights within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence’s (CED) controlled airspace Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) test range in Alma, Quebec. This is the first BVLOS flight at the CED that leverages only onboard DAA for air risk mitigation. This is a significant step towards unlocking autonomous drone use for numerous economically beneficial commercial applications such as : energy  sector  and infrastructure inspection,  mining,  mapping,  agriculture, emergency response,  and eventually package delivery.

“The CED is looking forward to leveraging Iris Automation’s industry-leading DAA system and existing flight expertise within our network to conduct BVLOS flights with MVT GEO-SOLUTIONS,” said William DeKeiser,  Director of  the  cluster  of   excellence.  “We   will  continue  to  develop  our  partnership  with  Iris Automation to provide better training to  local operators and enable BVLOS commercial  services  in Canada."

"We are particularly proud of our contribution to this project and this accreditation marks a major milestone in   moving   it   forward,"   said   Maude   Pelletier,   President   and   CEO   of   MVT   GEO-SOLUTIONS.   "The partnership  that  we  have  developed  with Iris Automation and  the UAS  Center  of  Excellence  is an important pledge in the success of this stage of the project and we are impatient to continue our collaboration with them in order to achieve our common goal of unlocking commercial BVLOS operations in Canada. "

The goal of obtaining a BVLOS certification allowing to fly over long distances without having to keep direct visual contact with the drone is to provide companies with high resolution geospatial data on very large areas at a lower cost than with planes / helicopters. Quality geospatial data in terms of precision and resolution is the key to informed decision-making and the optimization of deep learning in smart cities. Iris Automation’s onboard computer-vision DAA system is a game-changer for commercial drone use because it is the most effective, scalable, and cost-effective technology to enable BVLOS operations. Technology like this will be critical to safely integrate drones into the airspace along with manned-aircraft.

“We are incredibly excited to achieve this first BVLOS approval in Canada using our Casia onboard detect-and-avoid technology,” said Iris Automation CEO Alexander Harmsen. “This latest approval further validates our technology and adds to the multiple permissions we have already received from regulators inthe U.S. and South Africa. We look forward to continuing to work together with the CED, MVT GEO-SOLUTIONS, and Transport Canada to pave the way to unlocking commercial BVLOS operations for our customers in Canada.”

The first BVLOS flights are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, with the resulting data being used to inform more complex BVLOS operations in the future.


MVT GEO-SOLUTIONS offers acquisition, processing and analysis services of aerial data obtained using professional drones, LiDAR sensors and aerial RGB, thermal and multispectral imagery in the sectors of civil engineering and environment. MVT is an exclusive Canadian trainers and distributors of innovative geomatic solutions and is involved in several R&D projects that touch on virtual reality, artificial intelligence and development of sensors and software.

Media contacts:

Sylvie Boutin, marketing coordinator