The ultimate drone app — made by Google-sister company Wing — is here. Wing dropped its OpenSky app on the Google and Apple app stores today, and it’s free for anyone to download. With it, drone pilots can more easily carry out tons of tasks including see where they legally can and cannot fly drones, get LAANC permissions and log their flights.
The OpenSky app could very well prove to be a one-stop solution for drone pilots.
The OpenSky app is available for free for download now in the Google Play and the Apple App Store, making it usable by both Android and iOS users.
Here are some of the things you can do with the OpenSky app:
See where you can and cannot legally fly: Many drone pilots have long struggled to understand if they can legally fly drones in a specific area. The app should eliminate most of that confusing.
Request permission from the FAA to fly in certain airspaces (around airports or major cities): Yes, OpenSky is an FAA-approved Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) supplier. That means the app functions as a real-time authorization tool for drone flyers wishing to operate in LAANC-controlled airspaces, which include areas surrounding hundreds of airports throughout the U.S.
Without an FAA-approved LAANC supplier (such as OpenSky, or other similar apps like Aloft), drone fliers would need to request authorization to operate days or weeks in advance.
Track, manage, and log your flights and permissions to your pilot profile: While there are already tons of flight logging apps out there, OpenSky may be the one you actually use, given its placement in the app alongside the other, aforementioned features.
Given Wing’s connection to Google (Wing is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., the company formerly known as Google), the app is powered by Google Maps. The app itself is adapted from the same software Wing uses to power its commercial drone delivery operations (more on that later), leveraging nearly a decade of aviation and operator experience.
The OpenSky app is just one project being undertaken by Wing. Perhaps more famously, Wing has been conducted tens of thousands of drone delivery flights across three continents ever since 2019. Wing’s delivery partners include Fedex, Walgreens and a small retailer called Sugar Magnolia to deliver products to the homes of Christiansburg residents who sign up for the Wing delivery program. More recently, it delivered Girl Scout cookies via its drones.
Learn more: 6 things to know about Wing delivery drones
Though, this is not the first time the public has been able to use the app. In fact, the Wing OpenSky app was first introduced in Australia way back in 2019 for both recreational and commercial drone pilots, in close connection with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
After a largely successful launch in Australia, Wing then began discussions with the Federal Aviation Administration about bringing a U.S.-centric version of the app to the U.S.