FAA to release new version of B4UFLY app later this year

By Patrick C. Miller | February 27, 2019

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has partnered with software developer Kittyhawk to create a new version of its  B4UFLY mobile application that will be available later this year.

The mobile app provides drone pilots with information about where they can and can’t fly. The update—intended to improve safety and reliability—will be completed at no cost to the FAA. The agency said the current version of B4UFLY will be available to the public until the new app is released. According to the FAA, the app data will continue to be updated, but no new features will be added.

“We want to provide drone pilots with the best tools possible so they fly safely and responsibly,” said Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell. “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.”

The FAA said a Feb. 13 agreement between it and Kittyhawk will give the public a simple, easy-to-understand mobile application that provides situational awareness for recreational drone pilots. The agency and the company plan to launch the new app later this year.

Kittyhawk is an enterprise drone operations software company and has been an FAA Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) UAS service supplier since October 2018. The company said it will leverage the its recently released Dynamic Airspace product to power the new and improved B4UFLY mobile app.

"Together with the FAA, we want to turn B4UFLY into a best-in-class solution for understanding the airspace operators are utilizing," said Joshua Ziering, Kittyhawk founder. "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."

Those interested in becoming drone pilots and part of the aviation community can obtain information and tips to get started at faa.gov/uas/.