by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Aloft (formerly Kittyhawk) today announced the introduction of the new Notify & Fly functionality for the FAA’s B4UFLY app on iOS and Android. The new feature, available live on the app today, provides users with a simple and easy way to let other drone pilots know that they are flying in the area. The anonymous transmission via the app allows users to inform the largest target group of other drone pilots about their presence in the area.
Whether in the hands of hobbyists, professional pilots or first aiders, the use of Notify & Fly will contribute to the overall safe integration of drones into national airspace by increasing situational awareness without compromising privacy.
Aloft’s work on B4UFLY over the past two years has influenced their thinking about how drone pilots want to interact with airspace and its many stakeholders. Since the app was relaunched in August 2019, they have supported over 13 million searches in the airspace and now perform an average of around 800,000 searches per month. The app also sees thousands of crowdsourced submissions every month, half of which are users wanting to announce their flight intentions. The first pure web test of the Notify & Fly function received more than 200 submissions in a limited test period.
“We have consistently seen a huge unmet need for the vast majority of safety-conscious drone pilots to proactively communicate their intentions for safer airspace,” wrote Jon Hegrenes, CEO of Aloft. “Notify & Fly is an important step towards solving this problem.”
To use the new Notify & Fly function, users only need to update the B4UFLY app on their phone. When you navigate to the main map screen, you will see the Notify & Fly icon. From there, users have the option to choose whether to fly as a commercial operator, recreational pilot, or first responder.
For more information on how to use Notify & Fly, see the video here.
Ian attended the Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional marketplace for drone services, and a passionate observer of the emerging drone industry and regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for emerging technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.
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