FAA’s B4UFLY app helps drone operators to be safe in the sky

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It got pretty hard now to fly drones in the US, more and more restrictions and regulations. Since December you have to register your drone right away before you even go on your first flight. Existing drones, purchased before December, have to be registered no later than February 2016. If you register before midnight EST January 20, 2016, the $5 fee will be refunded. However you have to pay first, so they can get their hands on your payment data and have another way of tracking you down.

There are now a lot of rules and regulations to follow and that’s why the FAA has built its own app for drone operators – B4UFLY (an abbreviation for “before you fly”. The app tells you if it’s safe to fly and informs you about restricted airspace. It also has a planner mode, where you can plan future flights and see what kind of restrictions are in place in the desired area.

B4UFLY screens

The app has potential if the FAA keeps it up to date and adds features to make it the To-Use-Tool for drone operators. In some rare scenarios, you have to contact the control tower in the area and tell them you are about to fly in their airspace. This could be as well included in the app and makes it easier for drone operators to fly. According to the FAA, 181,061 people have registered their drones as of this week.

iOS user can download the app in the App Store and Android users can opt-in to participate in a beta test of the app.

Hopefully, they will be smart enough and create a source, where counties and cities can post their rules as well. Some cities already have banned drones from their airspace and if you go somewhere, you don’t want to do hour-long research if you can fly or not. My other wish is, that drone operators get smarter and don’t try dangerous things.


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