Jennifer Trock


From August 2nd – 3rd, the FAA hosted its AAM Summit in Baltimore, bringing together the broad spectrum of AAM stakeholders to collaborate and address challenges and opportunities in bringing eVTOLs and related innovations to market in the near future. Challenges addressed at the Summit included: regulatory uncertainty, standards harmonization, gaining public trust in new technologies (including autonomy), data transmission (ADS-B and radio spectrum), low altitude weather data, cybersecurity, and operations management (deconfliction with general aviation). Throughout the Summit, government and industry stakeholders alike emphasized that a whole of government approach will be needed to achieve this new era of aviation. To address AAM challenges and ensure alignment and collaboration between government and industry, representatives from the FAA urged stakeholders to submit comments on DOT’s Request for Information on Advanced Air Mobility (“AAM RFI”) by August 16, 2023. Based on discussions at the Summit, some areas that industry stakeholders should…

On Tuesday, the FAA released a draft Advisory Circular (90-WLCLR), proposing a definition of small UAS staying “well clear” of aircraft during beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations.  The AC will be a useful tool for operators seeking waivers from Part 107 for BVLOS operations as the FAA.  The AC also demonstrates the FAA’s continued efforts to give guidance for operations that exceed the standard operating conditions of Part 107, as the agency continues to draft additional UAS rules to enable greater operational capabilities beyond Part 107, including BVLOS.

Today, a federal judge struck down a Newton, Massachusetts, ordinance regulating drone operations in the city, holding that the ordinance was preempted based on Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regulations and federal statutes. Saying the ordinance “essentially constitutes a wholesale ban on drone use” and was an “interven[tion] in the FAA’s careful regulation of aircraft safety,” District Judge William G. Young reaffirmed the FAA’s broad jurisdiction over drones (also known as unmanned aircraft systems or “UAS”) in national airspace.