Wing, a Google product, has released a free app to assist drone pilots in adhering to US regulations.

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Let’s talk about ” Wing, a Google product, has released a free app to assist drone pilots in adhering to US regulations.”

Wing, Google’s parent company Alphabet’s drone delivery arm, has released a free app in the United States to assist pilots in flying their drones legally. OpenSky has been available in Australia since 2019, and it is now available in the United States for commercial and recreational pilots to use for everything from commercial surveys to filming and photography. It’s now available on iOS and Android.

Wing tells DroneLife that OpenSky is based on Google Maps and is color-coded to show pilots where they can and can’t fly. Green zones are fine, but pilots should exercise caution in yellow zones and avoid flying in red zones entirely. The ability to submit requests to fly in controlled airspace and receive “near real-time authorizations” is perhaps its most useful feature. According to a FAQ on Wing’s website, the approval process works in airspace that supports Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), which includes “hundreds of air traffic facilities and airports.”

OpenSky allows pilots to log and plan their flights in addition to checking where it is legal to fly and requesting authorization. According to Wing, the app requires an internet connection to function, so if you’re going to need a flight approval in an area with poor reception, you should take a screenshot of it.

The launch of OpenSky coincides with increased regulation of drones in the United States and around the world as legislators catch up with the relatively new technology. Pilots in the United States must currently register any drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds, and drones will be required to broadcast their location during flight beginning in 2023.

Wing claims that an app like OpenSky makes it easier for pilots to follow the rules and fly the nearly 2 million drones registered in the United States. In a blog post, Wing stated that “compliance will ultimately expand the uses and benefits of drones to more people,” including emergency response, commercial inspections, and contactless delivery.

Wing’s last point, “contactless delivery,” is perhaps the most important for the company, which is best known for its drone delivery service. Wing has been delivering in Christiansburg, Virginia, as well as Finland and Australia. Wing’s Lia Reich told DroneLife that the company plans to expand its drone delivery service in the United States “later this year.”

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