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Australia moves on drone threat to flights

May 26, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

After a number of near misses involving drones and commercial aircraft in Australia and around the world, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has released a new smartphone app to make flying drones safer.

The app, called “Can I fly there?”, clearly shows crucial “drone no-fly” zones and “drone fly-with-caution” zones.

Using a drone flyer’s location, the app displays no-fly zones around major airports, the flight paths of smaller airports and helicopter landing areas. It also shows users restricted and military airspace where drones must not be flown.

The new app

Drone no-fly zones are shaded in red on the app map. Orange shading indicates fly-with-caution zones around areas where aircraft operate at low altitudes, CASA said yesterday.

It’s the first time an official app has been released in Australia to help drone flyers stay safe and abide by the safety regulations. CASA partnered with specialist drone software company Drone Complier to develop the app, which is available in Android, iOS and web-based HTML5 versions.

The app displays information about airports, including satellite photos of runway layouts and whether airports have air traffic control services.

It also shows information for uncontrolled aerodromes and aircraft landing areas, with written advice about what to do when flying a drone in those locations.

“The app displays information about the drone safety regulations, making it an essential tool for everyone flying a drone for fun or commercial purposes,” CASA said yesterday.

Information shown in the app is based on the standard operating conditions for very small commercial drones, known as the excluded category, and is deigned as a guide by recreational and certified drone flyers.

Edited by Peter Needham

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