Airobotics says it has become the first Israeli manufacturer to receive authorisation to fly fully automated drones without a pilot.

The recent approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel allows commercial operations to be conducted beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) using the Optimus unmanned air vehicle. The certification process required 24 months and more than 10,000 flight hours, the company says.

With the authorisation now secured, the system is being operated in automated BVLOS mode, without a certified UAV pilot, at Airobotics’ first customer sites: Intel and Israel Chemicals. The company has also announced a first customer in Australia: the mining company South32.

The Optimus air vehicle can fly a 30min mission carrying a 1kg (2.2lb), mission-specific payload. It is deployed from and recovered to an automated base station and uses software that the company says enables operators to control and manage operations with one click.