Move over Can I fly there..... Welcome OpenSky

A little over two years ago Australia’s aviation regulator CASA launched an app to allow drone pilots across Australia to work out if it was legal to fly in a particular area. Beginning of July, that app is due for retirement, and the first of a bunch of new apps has launched.

Rather than running their own app, it appears CASA has opted to make the information and data about where to fly available to other app developers who meet CASA’s strict guidelines.

The app quietly launched on the iOS App Store and Google  It is targeted at both recreational drone owners as well as commercial drone operators.

OpenSky wants to make it easier to find out when and where you can fly, whether you’re a “hobbyist who loves to fly” or a business that “uses unmanned aircraft to survey land or deliver goods.”

CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) says it’s retiring its own “Can I fly there?” app in favour of a remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) digital platform to which app developers can connect their own drone safety apps. OpenSky is the first third-party app to be approved that uses this new system.

In addition to its launch on the app stores, OpenSky is also available on the web.

The new app itself is straightforward to use. From a menu, you select what type of drone operator you are — either recreational, commercial (flying drones commercially less than 2kg) or ReOC (flying drones commercially with an operator certificate issued by CASA).

You can then enter addresses in the map’s search box to look up information about the no-fly zones and other restrictions that may be in place, as well as view the related CASA compliance maps for guidance. There are also features to help you identify flight hazards and a link to report unsafe drone operations directly to CASA.


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