The B4UFLY app provides model aircraft users with situational awareness and considers the user’s current or planned location in relation to operational restrictions to derive a specific status indicator. The color and shape coded status indicators inform the user if model aircraft operation is prohibited, requires the user to take certain actions, or if there are no FAA operating restrictions other than flying safely. All model aircraft operations must always yield the right-of-way to manned aircraft.
Key features include:
– Heads-Up Status View for quick “at-a-glance” review of current status
– Map Interface to plot nearby flight restrictions
– Planner Mode – an advanced user feature to “plan” for different flight locations and times
– More Info – helpful links for using the B4UFLY app and additional FAA resources
Airports: Recreational operators are required to give notice for flights within five miles of an airport to BOTH the airport operator and air traffic control tower, if the airport has a tower.
As helpful as I believe this app to be, I find some of its requirements do not make sense to me. At issue is the requirement to notify officials when operating a drone within 5 miles of an airport. That seems reasonable, except…
My comment on the FAA Regulation submitted to regulations.gov:
I currently own a Parrot AR.Drone and operate it only in my backyard, and that below the top of my pine trees–35-40 feet in the air. I live within range of 5 airports. By FAA regulation, I am required to notify the airport operator and Air Traffic Control Tower when operating within 5 miles of an airport. I read that to do so each time I operate my drone.
This makes no sense and adds a burden to operators, airport staff, and ATCs. None of the aircraft from those airports fly near me and if they did, and my drone were to be an obstacle, they would crash into the trees before my drone.
It seems common sense should be used here. If I operate a drone below 400 feet or below surrounding obstacles and do so within 5 mile of an airport, then I should contact the agencies required by regulation.
I hope I have misinterpreted the regulation as I read it or that you will add text to reflect the reality of the topography and plant growth where a drone will be operated.
Thanks and thank you for B4UFLY.
James A Artis