The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has updated its mobile application B4UFLY which shows recreational flyers and other users where they can operate drones using interactive maps. The FAA partnered with Kittyhawk in February 2019 in order to develop this latest version. B4UFLY is now powered by Kittyhawk patented Dynamic Airspace software which manages real-time flight restrictions, authorizations, and guidance. The application provides situational awareness for drone operators with real-time information about permanent and temporary flight restrictions as well as a planner mode that allows users to select a different time and location for an upcoming flight and determine if there are any restrictions at that place and time. Drone operators can find out if it is safe to fly at their current location by downloading the application on iOS and Android platforms. The latest version includes a number of key features including:
- A clear “status” indicator that informs the operator whether it is safe to fly or not. (For example, it shows flying in the Special Flight Rules Area around Washington, D.C. is prohibited.)
- Informative, interactive maps with filtering options.
- Information about controlled airspace, special use airspace, critical infrastructure, airports, national parks, military training routes and temporary flight restrictions.
- The ability to check whether it is safe to fly in different locations by searching for a location or moving the location pin.
- Links to other FAA drone resources and regulatory information.
In future updates, Kittyhawk plans to include additional functionality for weather, remote ID and additional data layers for uses in public safety, natural disasters and emergency response.
B4UFLY does not allow users to obtain airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace, which are only available through the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorisation and Notification Capability (LAANC).
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