WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FAA has released a new smartphone app called “B4UFLY,” designed to help model aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) users know if it is safe and legal to fly in certain locations.
“We want to make sure hobbyists and modelers know where it is and isn’t okay to fly,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “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.”
B4UFLY helps RPA pilots determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly.
The FAA announced the app at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Systems 2015 conference in Atlanta, Ga., and plans to release the app to approximately 1,000 beta testers later this summer.
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 RPA 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.