FAA revising drone restrictions

On Tuesday, Wing released a new application, called OpenSky Drones, designed to service all Australians who operate uncrewed aerial drones.

More specifically, the app is made to help third-party drone pilots determine times and airspaces where they can fly safely. Whether users are hobbyists or operating drones for business, OpenSky will make it easier to coordinate aircraft.

The service already seems to be off to a strong start. Notably, it is also the first third-party app that’s been approved to operate with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) remotely piloted aircraft system.

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To check it out, OpenSky is freely available for download on app stores and is easily accessible online.

How the OpenSky Drone Service Works

Once users access the app, to utilize its features they need to specify whether they’re flying recreationally or commercially. However, commercial flyers also need to disclose what kind of craft they are operating. Drone types include either small commercial drones that weigh less than 2 kg or larger aircraft that require a remote operator certificate issued by the CASA.

From there, drone operators enter an address to receive useful information about flying in the area.

Locations of no-fly zones, relative CASA compliance maps, and updates on potential flight hazards are all included. Users can also report flight hazards to CASA, with additional reporting for unsafe flying behaviors they might come across.

A Brief Look at Wing

OpenSky isn’t the first drone-related service to come out of Wing.

The company, which just became independent from Google X in 2018, launched a delivery service in Canberra that same year. Since then, consumers in the Australian capital have enjoyed receiving everything from food to basic household supplies via crewless aircraft. After finding success there, Wing further expanded its services to other regions worldwide.

Aside from their delivery service and drone safety app, Wing has also stated that they are working on technology for CASA to coordinate with drone operators during emergencies, and all kinds of high-traffic events.

Wing and CASA Partnership for Drone Safety

Earlier this year, Wing stated that they would assist the CASA in producing an ecosystem of applications regarding drone flight safety.

With fast third-party app approval and more joint projects underway, the effects of that partnership are already presenting notable results. While the specific nature of all the impending apps isn’t yet available, the post gives some idea about their direction.

“Over time, a CASA-approved ecosystem of apps and services will enhance drone operator choice, public safety, and spur further innovation in the drone industry,” Reinaldo Negron wrote in a Wing blog post on Medium.

According to Wing, the company’s overarching hope is that their accomplishments with the Australian government will inspire other nations to follow suit. Furthermore, by integrating their own national drone safety systems, other countries might better keep their people free from harm.

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