Before a pilot can take to the sky, there are certain things on their checklist that need to be considered. Obviously things you can see or feel physically such as weather are important, but one of the first things that any responsible operator should check is the restrictions on airspace where the flight is going to occur.
As more and more pilots are moving from the FAA’s “Hobbyist” or ‘Fly For Fun‘ classification and becoming certified under the latest Part 107 commercial licensing process, airspace rules are important to be able to understand, and we are helping by providing unique 3D perspectives for our users to do just that!
Under the more blanket ‘hobbyist/recreational’ operations, it is stated that you must give notice of your intention to fly your aircraft within 5 miles of an airport and are not permitted in Class B airspace around major airports without specific air traffic permission and coordination. Added to this are also other conditional airspace restrictions to consider as well as the No Drone Zone areas. This can certainly begin to get a little confusing, but there are plenty of tools available which may help remove some of the uncertainty and you can always reference our OneSky Web Portal to help understand some of these.
If you have become certified as a commercial UAS pilot through the FAA’s testing process, then you will have a slightly different set of airspace considerations to check before you fly. Many UAS pilots seeking their commercial license may never have previously been concerned with airspace and may not even be aware of the differences in the various Classes (B,C,D,E), the rules of operating aircraft within those airspaces, or even how to recognize them on a traditional aviation map such as the one seen here:
It can be especially confusing when trying to understand which of the shapes on these charts are of concern to drone pilots flying below the allowed 400 ft. above ground since each airspace may start/stop at different altitudes.
With all of these different operating guidelines and airspace considerations, we are glad to provide our tools and analytical capabilities to pilots regardless of their operating rules. We make it easy to identify the areas and airspace that you should be aware of.
Here you can see how certain data sets such as all Class B/C/D/E airspace which extends down to the ground is being drawn in a volumetric sense on our web-based 3D globe. This signifies that any flight within these various classes of airspace may not be allowed depending on the pilot’s operating rules.
Making data easy to identify and understand is possible with many different data layers as well as services that provide a quick summary of the airspaces and restrictions that any submitted flight plan needs to consider and be aware of.
Airport and Heliport 5 Mile Boundaries
Special Activity Airspace – Restricted/Prohibited/Warning/Alert/Natl Security/MilitaryOperations/Etc.
Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) Map Data
OneSky UTM – Point Flight Volume Intersecting Controlled Airspace
OneSky UTM – Path Flight Showing Controlled Airspace Intersection & Proximity Thresholds
Get started today by signing up for our BETA and discover how to add safety and fidelity into your flight planning!