At the beginning of 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Kittyhawk, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) service provider, announced a partnership to update the FAA’s B4UFly app. The newly updated app was released last week for drone operators (both commercial and recreational alike), which now determines in real-time which airspace restrictions are in effect at any location in the United States, so that all drone operators can determine if their drone flight is in compliance with federal laws and regulations. The FAA’s Executive Director of the UAS Integration Office, Jay Merkle, said, “As the skies become more crowded and UAS operations become more complex, basic airspace situational awareness, especially for the newest of fliers, will be essential.” The updated app is set to assist those fliers.
B4UFly also generates data from the FAA including National Park boundaries, controlled airspace, military routes and special use airspace. The app provides straightforward prompts such as “Good to Go,” “Warning,” and “Do Not Fly.” The FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) platform is now also included in the B4UFly app, which allows users to obtain authorization from local air traffic control to fly in controlled airspace.
The FAA and Kittyhawk plan to release more updates to the B4UFly app soon, including new capabilities for weather, remote ID and additional data layers for uses in public safety, natural disasters, and emergency response.