FAA, Kittyhawk Redevelop B4UFLY

March 4, 2019

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has partnered with Kittyhawk to redevelop B4UFLY, the FAA's first mobile application, to improve the user experience so that recreational drone operators know where they can and cannot fly.

The current B4UFLY App will continue to be available to the public until the new App is deployed. The data reflected in the current App will continue to be updated regularly, but no new features will be added.

We want to provide drone pilots with the best tools possible so they fly safely and responsibly. As
drone sales increase and our nation's airspace becomes busier and more complex, it's vital that
we work smarter and partner with the private sector to develop innovative products that
advance safety.

Acting FAA Administrator, Dan Elwell

The FAA and Kittyhawk plan to launch the new App in 2019. Kittyhawk is an enterprise drone operations software company that has been an FAA Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) UAS Service Supplier since October 2018.

The current B4UFLY is available for free download in the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android. Key features of the current app include:

  • A clear "status" indicator that immediately informs the operator about the current or planned location. For example, it shows flying in the Special Flight Rules Area around Washington, D.C. is prohibited.
  • Information on the parameters that drive the status indicator
  • A "Planner Mode" for future flights in different locations
  • Informative, interactive maps with filtering options
  • Links to other FAA drone resources and regulatory information

For more information, view the B4UFLY Q & A (PDF).

Joshua Ziering ,Joshua of Kittyhawk said, "Kittyhawk will be leveraging the power of our recently released Dynamic Airspace™ product to power the new and improved B4UFLY mobile app.

Over the past four years, Kittyhawk has helped power over 500,000 safe and compliant commercial drone flights in the United States. We’ve served tens of millions of requests for airspace information through our application to help commercial and hobbyist operators alike. We’ve helped scale and power the largest teams of commercial operators in the world, and now we’re looking forward to leveraging that capability to continually improve B4UFLY.

The careful observer might ask why we’ve chosen to work on B4UFLY when Kittyhawk’s focus is purely enterprise solutions. We believe that Kittyhawk needs to be building our industry alongside of our company. Our goal is for our enterprise customers to be flying as much as possible. Flights don’t happen easier or more frequently when negligent operators are shutting down airports, breaching Presidential TFR’s, or endangering our national security.

Together with the FAA, we want to turn B4UFLY into a best-in-class solution for understanding the airspace operators are utilizing. We want to make it easy to understand where you can and can’t fly, and together with community-based organizations like the AMA, continue to support the next generation of aviation innovators to fly safely and responsibly.

We’re already working on the next version of B4UFLY, and look forward to using our expertise as a fast moving start up with laser-like focus on safety and quality to bring reliable, easy to understand information about where operators can fly to help make the NAS safer for everyone. As features like Remote Identification and the implementation of a UTM system come to fruition, Kittyhawk stands ready to help enterprises and hobbyists alike safely access the NAS.

We know that the future of drones is bright and look forward to doing our share to help that future arrive just a little bit faster."

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