At Commercial UAV Expo, five members of the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) met for the first time since issuing their final recommendations report to the agency to discuss the process and the next steps. The meeting featured remarks from Jay Merkle of the FAA, who reported that the agency has begun writing the rules.

In his presentation, Merkle stated that ARC process was still open, and that the FAA could at any point reconvene its members to clarify certain aspects of the recommendations.

The news that the rule writing had begun was met with great enthusiasm by those in attendance and by the panel. Many were excited that their hard work is paying off and the recommendations they made to the FAA are being studied and turned into a concrete rule.

Among the committee members taking part in the discussion were Lisa Ellman of Hogan Lovells and the Commercial Drone Alliance, Eileen Lockhart from Spright, Skydio’s Jennifer Player, Trevor Woods of Northern Plains UAS Testing Site, and Amazon Prime’s Sean Cassidy.

In addition to Merkle’s presentation, the session included a review of the BVLOS ARC scope, organizational structure, challenges, and mandate. Panelists also addressed the challenges the group faced because of COVID restrictions. These challenges, they stated, made it more difficult than usual to meet and discuss the issues. However, the group was pleased that there able to complete their work – and that the FAA is making progress.