Drone operators not only have to worry about avoiding people and objects when their drone is up in the air; they also have to worry about avoiding bad weather conditions. No one wants their drone to be damaged by rain or get stuck in a severe storm. The Weather Company, an IBM business, has announced it is entering the drone space to improve drone operations.
The Weather Company will work with AirMap, a low-altitude airspace management provider, to deliver real-time hyperlocal weather data to drone operators.
“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.”
According to the companies, real-time accurate weather data is critical for safe and efficient flying. The Weather Company’s weather data will be available through AirMap’s iOS and Apple Watch apps. Information will include current and forecasted conditions, temperature, precipitation, air pressure, and cloud cover. Developers will also be able to take advantage of the weather data through AirMap’s APIs.
“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 toward the safety, efficiency and performance of their unmanned aircraft.”