Weather Drone Flights in Ireland
Thumbnail image: Meteodrone demo in Ireland on April 19, 2023
Meteomatics is preparing for the upcoming Meteodrone
demonstrations in France, Italy and Romania. Our team is currently focused on
obtaining cross-border approval from the local authorities, allowing us to
operate the Meteodrones smoothly.
The operation of uncrewed aerial vehicles
is strictly regulated by local aerospace authorities for safety reasons. Therefore,
Meteomatics and its partners must apply for special flight permits to ensure
compliance. It is important to note that flying Meteodrones “Beyond Visual Line
of Sight” (BVLOS) is generally prohibited without official authorization and
approvals from the local civil aviation authority.
Meteomatics was the first Swiss company to
receive a flight permit from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA),
based on the regulations set forth by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency
(EASA). This permit enables us to fly uncrewed aerial vehicles in BVLOS
conditions within Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, even in
challenging weather conditions such as clouds and fog, at altitudes of up to 6 kilometres,
both during the day and at night.
Based on this flight authorization, Meteomatics
can now seek approvals for Meteodrone demonstrations in all EASA member states.
The approval process involves close communication and the exchange of relevant
documents with the national flight authorities in each country where the
demonstrations are planned.
In April, we conducted a demonstration at the Valentia
Observatory in Ireland for Met Éireann,
the Irish Meteorological Service. The objective was to evaluate the feasibility
of replacing radiosonde measurements with those obtained from Meteodrones in
the long term. The demonstration, which included three flights up to an
altitude of 5350 meters, took place during the daytime around noon (watch the
To carry out this demonstration,
Meteomatics obtained a cross-border authorization from the Irish Aviation
Authority (IAA), similar to the authorizations granted to manned aircraft. The
IAA issued a temporary restricted airspace authorization and a “Notice to
Airmen”, which was made visible to all parties operating in Irish airspace on
Based on the successful experience in
Ireland, we are confident in our ability to receive flight authorizations from
the aviation authorities in France, Italy and Romania. Our team remains
committed to complying with regulations and ensuring the safe and responsible
operation of Meteodrones during all demonstrations.
Meteomatics is pleased to offer assistance
to interested organizations in obtaining approvals from national authorities.
It’s important to note that these approvals are typically specific to
designated areas, altitudes, and time periods, as dictated by local
requirements. Meteomatics is fully committed to supporting the approval process
in the most effective manner, enabling Meteodrone demonstrations to take place
across EASA member states. Our goal is to facilitate the widespread
availability of these demonstrations while ensuring compliance with local
regulations and ensuring a seamless experience for all involved parties.
Author: Akemi Narindal-Aoki, PhD
Meteomatics, Meteodrones, weather drones