In response to the increasing number of drone/aircraft near misses, an app has launched to ensure drone pilots keep their gadgets out of harm’s way at air terminals and restricted zones around Australia.
The free ‘Can I Fly There’ app has been developed with the sole purpose to “allow those flying drones for fun, or under the new sub-2kg commercial category to enter a location where they are allowed to fly,” explained Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
CASA’s director Peter Gibson, said the application, a collaboration between the regulator and tech organisation Drone Complier, was dispatched to address concerns following the increase of near-miss reports from aeroplane pilots.
“These things can go a significant separation and individuals frequently ignore that they are in take-off or landing space…They can vanish from sight rapidly … What’s more, [these near misses] have been located at 2,000 or 3,000 feet.” Said Mr. Gibson to ABC Hobart.
The application, available for iOS, Android and an online HTML5 form, “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.”
Compared to 2016, specialists have anticipated there will be a conceivable increase in the quantity of drones in Australia the end of 2017 as more hobbyists take to the skies.
In March, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) report into the development of “remotely guided airplane frameworks (RPAS)” discovered 108 events in the vicinity of 2012 and 2016, with 69 occurring in 2016 alone.
Crucially, the report said “no revealed crashes amongst RPAS and mannered aircraft” had happened in Australia, which although positive, it’s still worrying there have been so many near-misses.