As the drone industry in North Dakota continues to gain attention, a Fargo-based software company continues to get attention as well. Smart C2 is a company creating VirtualAirBoss (VAB), a software for UAS business operations, in an effort to help the industry stay in line with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

drone focus conference

“It’s a system that’s sophisticated yet simple,” said Smart C2 CEO and President Stuart Rudolph, in a recent UAS Magazine article.  “You press a button, it schedules your aircraft and provides you with the information you need to have in order to manage both FAA compliance and your internal policies. You have transparency and accountability with the FAA while collecting the data as they want to see it.”

To further encourage compliance with the FAA,  SmartC2 released a guide entitled “7 Key Considerations Before Taking your Drone Operation to the Sky.” earlier this month. The guide is intended to “help executives define the questions that their organization needs to answer before acquiring or hiring UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) capabilities,” Rudolph wrote in a press release.

“It’s not as simple as buying a drone for a few hundred dollars and just using it for your business”, said Janet Ahlgren, Chief Operating Officer of SmartC2. “We are constantly being asked by corporations to help them think through the intricate process of safely integrating drones into their business infrastructure. This guide is one way we can help them mitigate risks, and implement safe, efficient and compliant drone operations.”

Ahlgren and Rudolph argue that many industries can benefit from adding a drone to their business. However, the complexities of regulation, risk mitigation, and compliance strategies are a necessity before taking that step, they write.

“If you use a drone for any purpose typically related to profit or commercial use, the FAA considers you to be in the aviation business and therefore under their jurisdiction,” Ahlgren writes in the press release. “That means compliance with FAA regulations, pilot qualifications, formal application to the FAA for authorization to fly, and all sorts of accountability reporting for your unmanned aircraft is required.”

In their most recent announcement, the FAA is now requiring registration for all drones flying outside larger than 0.55 pounds and smaller than 55 pounds. This is regardless if the drone is used for commercial purposes or not.

“There is a serious need for corporations to understand that they can fly safe and compliantly,” Rudolph said. ”We can help the marketplace by helping them understand how to fly unmanned aircraft and implement them into their organization.”

There is no charge to download this whitepaper on the VirtualAirBoss website:


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Marisa Jackels