AIKEN, S.C. – The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Program has received a government-wide aviation safety award from the U.S. General Services Administration and Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy for the second consecutive year.
That 2022 Federal Aviation Safety Award follows a recent award presented by the DOE Office of Aviation Management to the EM laboratory for the best UAS program within DOE, an honor the SRNL UAS Program won for the third consecutive year. The DOE award recognizes excellence in management, operations, maintenance, training, safety and best practices.
Among the uses of camera-mounted drones within the laboratory’s UAS Program is to ensure the structural integrity of protective covers over EM’s remediated waste sites at the Savannah River Site (SRS).
“This award recognizes the rigor the SRNL UAS team puts into having a robust program and maintaining safe operations,” SRNL Strategic Initiatives Executive Director Greg Cefus said. “Earning this award for a second consecutive year demonstrates our team’s unwavering commitment to operational excellence. The SRNL UAS Program plays a key role in supporting national security missions and other missions across the Savannah River Site — from conducting inspections of waste tanks to photographing progress on construction projects for other site contractors.”
The Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy promotes sound policy and fosters the highest safety standards across the U.S. government.
The SRNL UAS team consists of a program manager, operations manager, aviation safety officer, six Federal Aviation Administration-certified pilots, and remote pilot. Another individual serves as ground-control support and as a visual observer.
The laboratory’s UAS Program has 20 UAS aircraft in its fleet, and the team works closely with the DOE-Savannah River Site aviation manager and safety officer to plan and conduct onsite missions under an approved flight readiness review board.
Created in 2017, the SRNL UAS Program provides support to the laboratory, SRS and its various tenants, U.S. armed forces, the federal government, law enforcement and the intelligence community. The UAS Program also supports emergency response, as necessary, to SRS and the local community. Click here for more information about the SRNL UAS Program.
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