Flying a drone just got a lot safer, simpler, and more secure.

We recently announced the launch of AirMap for Drone Operators, our free mobile app for iOS and Apple Watch. AirMap makes it easy for operators who don’t operate drones already integrated with AirMap services to fly responsibly. With AirMap for iOS, drone operators can view airspace information and advisory data, create a pilot profile, manage aircraft, create flight plans, submit digital flight notices to airports, view public flights, and more.

New to drone flying? Here’s what you need to know.

In Section 336 of the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a “special rule for model aircraft,” which mandates that drones under 55 lbs must operate “in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines” and “when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation.” The FAA also requires registration by recreational UAS operators.

In other words, if you intend to operate your drone recreationally and you’re located within 5 miles of any airport, big or small, you have a legal obligation to tell the airport about it.

Thanks to AirMap, giving notice is simple. Here’s how:

1.  Download AirMap for Drone Operators from the App Store. If you’re flying an AirMap-integrated drone, you may skip this step.

2.  View global airspace data. AirMap’s dynamic, global, and trustworthy airspace data informs you of when and where it’s safe to operate your drone. The app is gps-enabled to auto-detect your location. You may also input an address to view airspace advisory information for that location.

3.  Create a pilot profile. Input your name, contact information, unmanned aircraft make and model, your FAA registration number, and a photo to complete your pilot profile.

4.  Create a flight & notify nearby airports. Tap and hold down on the location of your flight. Edit the details of your flight, including flight radius, altitude, start time (can start in the future), and duration. You can also choose to make your flight public to other UAS operators, though no contact details will be shared.

When operating within 5 miles of an airport with AirMap’s Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), you may choose to submit digital notice to airport. This action is not mandatory, though is strongly recommended to operate in compliance with Section 336 outlined above.

5.  Take flight. Experience first-hand the potential of low-altitude aviation, powered by AirMap.

Download now, and fly safely!

Update: AirMap is now available for iOS and Android.