FAA 'B4UFLY' drone safety app enters beta

The FAA doesn't take improper drone usage lightly, and while it has gone after operators in violation of regulations, it is also working to educate the public on what it can and can't do in an effort to prevent the issues from happening. Part of its efforts is the new B4UFLY mobile app, which is designed to give operators of, primarily, "model aircraft" a way to see any current flight regulations in their region, as well as ones that are planned. The beta will be tested by 1,000 UAV users.

The FAA has been monitoring the number of close calls pilots have had with drones, and the numbers are increasing quickly according to the latest report. While punitive action against those operators will have some measure of effectiveness, operators can't avoid violating regulations they aren't aware exist.

As such, there's the B4UFLY app that presents the information someone needs to be aware of before flying their aerial vehicle in whatever location they're planning. The app includes a status indicator with info about the location, as well as a planner for future trips, a map that allows data to be filtered, and links to other official government resources.

Operators are required to fly drones under a certain weight, and to avoid certain areas including the regions around airports. Similarly, there are also rules on how high a drone can be operated, how far from the operator, and more. This is akin to the FAA's "Before Your Fly" campaign, which aims to educate the public on regulations.