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August 12, 2021

OpenSky updates will allow drone flyers to access new airspace & request real-time authorization for night flying

  • , drones
  • , OpenSky
  • , United States
  • , UTM

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In June, we announced the roll out of Wing’s free drone flyer app, OpenSky, in the United States to help drone operators of all stripes share the sky safely. Already, we’ve seen tens of thousands of operators -- everyone from professional photographers to surveyors to hobby flyers -- use the app to find out where they can safely fly their drones and request authorization to fly in controlled airspace. Now, we’re excited to introduce two new updates... 

that will open up access to new airspace for commercial and recreational flyers and allow for real-time authorization requests for night-time flying in controlled airspaces.  

The updates to OpenSky are made possible by a new version of the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification (LAANC) program. This new version of LAANC includes a number of improvements and refinements that make drone flyer apps like OpenSky even more helpful for users. 

The first update will open up new airspace that was previously unavailable to flyers by refining the airspace grids used in the app. With smaller quarter-mile grid sizes, restrictions can be more targeted to where they are needed. Since altitude and authorization limits are defined for an entire grid, the smaller grids will allow for more flexibility in how restrictions are defined. Previously, a limit in one part of an approximately one-square mile grid would prevent flyers from operating in the entire grid. 

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We’ve heard from users asking for a simpler way to request night time approvals in LAANC. In partnership with the FAA, our new update will enable Part 107 flyers to request near real-time authorization to fly at night, all through our OpenSky app. 

With nearly two million drones registered in the U.S., we’re committed to help enable safe access to the shared resource above us.  As we continue to get more feedback from our users, we look forward to continuing to roll out improvements to OpenSky.