FAA BVLOS meeting

Act now to speak during next FAA BVLOS meeting

There’s another FAA BVLOS meeting set for this month — and if you want to speak at it, you’ll have to act fast.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Beyond Visual Line of Sight Aviation Rulemaking Committee (also known as ARC), which released its final report in March 2022, is holding a public meeting. The public FAA BVLOS meeting is set for Tuesday, July 26 between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET (that’s 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. PT). It’ll all happen online, so you can participate no matter where in the world you are.

But if you want to provide oral comment at the meeting and share your opinions on the ARC’s BVLOS final report, you need to act today. Request to provide oral comment must be received by today, Monday July 11. In order to request to provide oral comments, you must email 9-FAA-UAS-BVLOS@faa.gov, and include your full name and email address with your request. If accepted, you’ll have up to five minutes to share your comments during the live meeting. If accepted to provide public comment, the FAA will send you a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate in the meeting virtually.

If you still want your voice heard but you either missed the deadline, you need more than five minutes, or simply aren’t a fan of public speaking, you can still participate. Written comments will be accepted through Tuesday, August 2, which is actually after the meeting (thus you can write in and provide feedback of what was discussed at the meeting. Written comments can be sent to the same email address at 9-FAA-UAS-BVLOS@faa.gov.

What to expect at July’s FAA BVLOS meeting

The July FAA BVLOS meeting is specifically designed to give members of the public an opportunity to comment on the UAS BVLOS ARC Final Report. The FAA wants people to comment on everything from initial reactions, to ideas of areas that the FAA should further explore for performance-based regulatory requirements. The FAA says it wants to normalize safe, scalable, economically viable, and environmentally advantageous UAS BVLOS operations — so the more ideas, typically the better.

The idea of a BVLOS committee largely kicked off about a year ago when, in June 2021, the FAA established a committee with a name resembling alphabet soup, the UAS BVLOS ARC. That committee was set to provide recommendations to the FAA on performance-based regulatory requirements for BVLOS operations, and included stakeholders from 86 organizations including AirMapANRAIris AutomationAmazon Prime Air and Wing.

Among the priority areas for BVLOS drone flights:

  • long-line linear infrastructure inspections
  • industrial aerial data gathering
  • small package delivery
  • precision agriculture operations (like crop spraying)

In the March 2022 drop of its final report, the committee made many recommendations including a proposed Part 108, which would spell out how you can operate drones beyond visual line of sight.

Upon release of the report, most reactions were positive and felt the proposals struck a balance between providing structure versus flexibility. It should be interesting to see what outspoken members of the public think.

How to watch the July FAA BVLOS meeting

The meeting will be held virtually and will be live streamed for anyone to watch across the FAA’s social media platforms Facebook and YouTube. Simply bookmark one of those links to tune in on Tuesday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m. ET.

You can also view the meeting minutes once they’re posted (not yet), which will live on the FAA’s BVLOS ARC documentation page.

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