AirMap debuts digital map for UAV operators

By Emily Aasand | May 04, 2015

AirMap, a free, comprehensive digital map that allows unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators to visualize the airspace around them, has recently been made available to the public. The digital map removes barriers to compliance by providing the low altitude airspace information that UAS operators need.

AirMap, which was cofounded by Ben Marcus, co-founder of leading aircraft brokerage firm jetAVIVA, and Gregory McNeal, associate professor of law and public policy at Pepperdine University, integrates multiple sources data and gives UAS operators an easy-to-use, yet detailed, solution providing a single view of the restricted areas around an operation, according to the company.

The map focuses on airspace information up to 500 feet. Using AirMap, operators can select layers depicting recreational use (which displays airspace around airports), blanket certificates of authorization rules applicable to holders of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Section 333 exemptions, and controlled airspace, which complies with the FAA’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

“As a drone operator, I found it hard to know what the airspace rules were in the places where I wanted to fly,” said McNeal. “There were no accurate visuals or reliable electronic tools that could tell me and other operators where we can and cannot fly. AirMap solves this problem and helps to educate operators about this complex regulatory environment. The demand for AirMap is clear, as it is the most thorough resource for drone operators to ensure safe, legal and hassle-free flight.”

Marcus and McNeal conceptualized AirMap after seeing a need for a tool that would help understand the complexities of restricted airspace for UAS operations.

“As UAS use continues to expand, the airspace in which operators are flying is also growing more complex. With this in mind, we’ve launched AirMap, which will serve as a resource for drone operators to immediately fly safely and in compliance with legal requirements. We want to make safe flying easy,” said Marcus.

The beta version is live in the U.S. and is launching internationally soon.

In February, AirMap launched its first service, NoFlyZone.org, which accepts registrations from property owners who prefer UAS not overfly their land. AirMap also displays hospitals, schools and helipads and will be adding other sensitive sites in the future.

 

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