Unmanned aerial vehicle on wood background, top view
Unmanned aerial vehicle on wood background, top view MileA

DRONES: Can I fly there? Now there's an app for that

THE Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has teamed up with specialist company, Drone Complier, to develop a smartphone, tablet and web-based app to help drone flyers fly safely and responsibly.

The app, called 'Can I fly there?' will allow those flying drones for fun, or under the new sub-2kg commercial category to enter a location where they are proposing to fly.

It will then flag nearby 'no-drone zones' such as airports, helicopter landing areas and other restricted areas.

It will also flag 'no-drone zones' areas where emergency services such as firefighters are operating.

CASA's Group Manager, Aviation, Graeme Crawford, said that the app would also educate Australia's drone community on what rules to follow.

'The app will encourage these drone flyers to operate responsibly and to follow our standard operating conditions each and every time they fly,' Mr Crawford said.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester welcomed the launch of the new safety App.

Mr Chester said aviation safety was the Government's highest priority, not only for the travelling public but also for those on the ground.

"Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) new mobile App "Can I fly there” displays information about the safety regulations to help drone operators fly safely and responsibly,” Mr Chester said.

"The app shows no-fly zones and fly with caution zones for drones operated in the under two kilogram commercial category.

"This information can also be used as guide for recreational flyers, identifying no-fly zones around major airports, the flight paths of smaller airports, helicopter landing areas, and restricted and military airspace.

"The Government is committed to fostering an environment that ensures the operation of drones are conducted safely, whilst also facilitating growth and innovation in the use of this exciting technology in Australia.

"Drones have the potential to improve productivity, reduce costs, and improve workplace safety, but must be operated safely.

"Drones are being engaged in industries such as agriculture, mining, infrastructure assessment, search and rescue, fire and policing operations, aerial mapping and scientific research.

"There is a lot of work being progressed globally on drone safety and security issues, and we are not alone in facing this emerging challenge,” Mr Chester said.

"Australia was one of the first countries to regulate drone operations.

"Strict operating rules have been in place for a number of years and, contrary to recent reports, the amendments made last year maintained these safety rules,” Mr Chester said.