FAA debuts B4UFLY app to help UAS pilots operate safely and legally

ATLANTA, 6 May 2015. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched and demonstrated B4UFLY, a new smartphone application (app), today at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems 2015 conference in Atlanta, Ga. FAA officials will release the app, designed to help model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) users know if it is safe and legal to fly in their current or planned location, to approximately 1,000 beta testers later this summer.

FAA debuts B4UFLY app to help UAS pilots operate safely and legally
FAA debuts B4UFLY app to help UAS pilots operate safely and legally

ATLANTA, 6 May 2015. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched and demonstrated B4UFLY, a new smartphone application (app), today at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems 2015 conference in Atlanta, Ga. FAA officials will release the app, designed to help model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) users know if it is safe and legal to fly in their current or planned location, to approximately 1,000 beta testers later this summer.

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“We want to make sure hobbyists and modelers know where it is and isn’t okay to fly,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta explained in his talk at AUVSI. “While there are other apps that provide model aircraft enthusiast with various types of data, we believe B4UFLY has the most user-friendly interface and the most up-to-date information.”

UAS users access B4UFLY before they operate their aircraft to determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly.

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Key features of the B4UFLY app include:

  • A clear “status” indicator that immediately informs operators about their current or planned location.
  • Information on the parameters that drive the status indicator.
  • A “Planner Mode” for future flights in different locations.
  • Informative, interactive maps with filtering options.
  • Contact information for nearby airports.
  • Links to other FAA UAS resources and regulatory information.

The beta test is expected to run for several months, after which the FAA plans to make B4UFLY available for the general public. The initial release is planned for iOS devices only, with an Android version to follow.

B4UFLY complements the Know Before You Fly educational campaign, which provides prospective UAS operators with information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly. The FAA is a partner in the effort with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and the Small UAV Coalition.

For more information on the FAA and UAS, go to http://www.faa.gov/uas

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