The Weather Company, a private weather company owned by IBM, has announced that it will be working with AirMap, a provider of low-altitude airspace management services for unmanned aircraft, to allow AirMap to deliver real-time hyperlocal weather data directly to drone operators.
As drone technology moves toward increasingly sophisticated, autonomous operations, precise and accurate weather data will be critical for safe and efficient operations. Drone operators will be able to access the weather data from The Weather Company via AirMap’s app for iOS and Apple Watch as well as AirMap’s APIs for developers.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently published a new section of the Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 107, that defines new rules for commercial drone flights. As part of the new regulations, remote pilots of unmanned aircrafts are required to be familiar with available weather information prior to flight departure.
“Part 107 is a major milestone in drone regulation for visual line-of-sight operations,” said Ben Marcus, CEO of AirMap and an airline transport rated pilot and flight instructor. “The availability of real-time hyperlocal weather data from The Weather Company will help today’s drone pilots avoid hazardous and severe weather, and will be absolutely critical for safe, efficient flight planning and operations of more autonomous, beyond visual-line-of-sight drones.”
The Weather Company’s forecasting platform produces precise weather forecasts every fifteen minutes for 2.2 billion locations worldwide. Drone operators will gain access to real-time data such as current and forecasted conditions, including temperature, precipitation, pressure, cloud cover, and more. This high-performance, cloud-based platform provides an average of 20 million forecasts daily.
“The Weather Company is a leader in the global aviation industry, and we are thrilled to work with AirMap to help lead the way in the emerging drone aviation market, which is a natural extension of the value we already provide every day to major airlines and aviation business worldwide,” said Mark Gildersleeve, president of business solutions at The Weather Company. “As a result of this AirMap deal, we can help drone operators not only be in compliance with Part 107 regulations, but also be able to leverage precise and accurate hyperlocal weather data to help guide decision-making and help work towards the safety, efficiency, and performance of their unmanned aircraft.”