On-Demand Mobility

How Are Low-Altitude Weather Services Adapting to UAM?

What is the FAA's role in this emerging technology?


With new technology comes new regulations to keep operations safe and prevent disruption to daily life. So how do low-weather altitude operations play a role in this new emerging beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) vehicle trend?

According to Avionics Magazine, they're steadily trying to catch up. "'We have a critical problem with developing regulations because the 2018 [FAA] Reauthorization Act said that we cannot make current regulations more restrictive, so the current regulations for Part 107 operations — and even the Part 91 or the 135 operations that we see now for unmanned vehicles — don’t have sufficient weather requirements,' said FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Marilyn Pearson. 'So we’re going to have to determine what a policy might be, or perhaps on a case-by-case basis.' Even if those regulations were in place, FAA-approved data sources may not currently be able to meet all the needs of low-altitude drone flights."

In this instance, case-by-case policy and gradual steps to ensure "good enough" regulations are a stepping stone during an evolving process to manage these vehicles.