by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian Crosby
In June of this year, Wing launched the free OpenSky drone pilot app in the United States, helping drone operators of all kinds to safely share the sky. Since then, the app has seen tens of thousands of users, from professional photographers to surveyors to amateur pilots, who all use the app to find out where they can safely fly their drones and request a permit to fly in controlled airspace.
Wing today announced two new updates to the app made possible by a new version of the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification (LAANC) program. This new version of LAANC includes a number of improvements and refinements that make drone pilot apps like OpenSky more helpful to users.
The first of the two updates will open up new airspace that was previously not available to passengers. This is done by refining the airspace grids used in the app. With smaller and more accurate quarter mile grid ratios, restrictions can be deployed more precisely where they are needed. Since altitude and permit limits are defined for an entire network, these smaller networks allow more flexibility in defining restrictions. Prior to this new update, a boundary in part of an approximately one square mile grid would prevent flyers from operating throughout the grid.
The second update comes in response to user requests for an easier way to get night permits in LAANC. In collaboration with the FAA, this new update will enable Part 107 flyers to request permission for the night flight in near real time directly via the OpenSky app.
DRONELIFE previously reported on the first launch of OpenSky in the USA and detailed the mission statement behind the app and the decision to make the app available to the public free of charge. You can find the previous article from DRONELIFE 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 a contributor to DroneLife.