Skip to page content

FAA Approves Drone to Restore Puerto Rico Cell Service

News Search

Search Instructions

  • A simple search will return results that contain all of the specified words in the title or in the body of the news story. The words may appear in any order.
  • A phrase search can be performed by enclosing the search string in quotes. For instance, searching for "technical director" will only return results that contain the exact phrase supplied, with the words in the order specified.

FAA Approves Drone to Restore Puerto Rico Cell ServiceThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) quickly approved the first unmanned aircraft operation of its kind to help restore cellular service in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The Flying COW (Cell on Wings) drone, developed by AT&T, functions like a cell tower in the sky, restoring voice, data and internet service. It flies up to 200 feet above the ground, covering an area of 40 square miles, and is particularly useful in remote areas.

The Pulse Vapor 55 drone, which resembles a miniature helicopter, is fitted with LTE radios and antennas and is tethered to ground-based electronics and power systems. Because the aircraft exceeded the 55-lb. weight limit required to operate under the FAA’s small drone rule, the FAA had to issue a special exemption and an emergency certificate of authorization for AT&T to conduct its mission.

The company is using the drone as a temporary cell service solution while it rebuilds the permanent infrastructure on the island.

Page last modified:

This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=89185&omniRss=news_updatesAoc&cid=101_N_U