Crown Consulting Inc.

Crown serves as the technical lead for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s participation in the Federal Aviation’s Administration Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) – recognized as one of the most successful of the nine IPP initiatives.

Crown’s contributions have led to pathfinding, first-of-a-kind accomplishments:

  • Concept of operations, safety analysis, risk mitigation strategies and testing that led to the first FAA-approved routine UAS medical package delivery operations.
  • First-of-a-kind statewide unmanned traffic management systems that set the framework for system-wide UAS operations and establish public and private operating priorities.
  • Safety analyses to formulate a first-of-a-kind viable use case for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations without visual observers.

Launching First-of-a-Kind UAS Medical Delivery and Emergency Response

Crown’s knowledge of UAS technology and regulations informs every aspect of the NCDOT's IPP initiatives. We coordinate activities of the partnership team and provide expert advice on technical challenges. We serve in an interface role with FAA regulatory teams for airworthiness, aircraft and operations certification, flight standards and airspace integration.

Our contributions bring significant, immediate benefits to NCDOT. Among them, we crafted concepts of operation for three routine, revenue medical delivery routes in North Carolina in partnership with NCDOT, FAA and industry partners UPS, Matternet, Zipline and Flytrex. The first, launched in March 2019, established the nation’s first UAS-based, FAA-approved medical package delivery services by UPS across the WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, which now transports 1,200+ samples monthly.

Our work with NCDOT also includes:

  • Formulating safety case analyses and risk mitigation procedures that gained FAA waivers for operations over people, operations over moving vehicles and night operations.
  • Constructing flight paths to integrate routine medical package deliveries in coordination with inbound and outbound medevac operations.
  • Developing the operational concept for first-of-a-kind operations for beyond-visual-line-of-site operations without visual observers – an initiative that will involve collaborating with the FAA to create procedures for proceed to safe-state flight maneuvers and mesh multiple technology layers for risk mitigation.

Crown drew on these innovations to help NCDOT mobilize UAS for state emergency functions. We helped gain FAA approval for complex night-time emergency operations for Highway Patrol drug enforcement. And when Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina in 2018, Crown performed Class G and D airspace risk analyses to obtain emergency certificates of operation and conducted related airspace and aeronautical information management.

Building a UAS Traffic Management System

Equally significant are Crown’s contributions to North Carolina’s broader vision of deploying statewide advanced air mobility by planning use cases based on technology readiness and integrating them into a comprehensive UAS traffic management system.

Toward that end, the Crown team:

  • Co-authored NCDOT’s first-of-its-kind statewide UAS traffic management concept of operations, which defines key elements of system governance, such as the coexistence of public and commercial services and law enforcement and emergency response priorities.
  • Arranged and participated in the first North American test flight of an autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft

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