Drone Ops Spring Ahead with New Features

03/15/2016

Senior Product Director at Skyward

Our March update will be going live later this evening—and it’s a good one! Based on feedback from our customers, we’ve added several high-impact features to help you manage your commercial drone operations more easily and efficiently.

The Skyward Drone Airspace Map

I’m excited to announce valuable upgrades to our most popular feature, the Skyward Drone Airspace Map.

For aviation pros, we’ve added a visual flight rules chart for Professional Plus subscribers. And for business ops managers, or those who may be newer to aviation, we’ve given you more on-screen information help you understand different categories of airspace at a glance.

Have questions? Our new Skyward Airspace User Guide will help you navigate the map, as well as the details of planning flights in any category of airspace.
We’ll be adding more user guides every month to help you get the most out of Skyward.

Easily understand airspace layers
To help you understand the layers in the Skyward Airspace map, we’ve given the legend its own tab on the map’s sidebar and included information to help you interpret the airspace.

The Skyward Drone Airspace Map for commercial UAV operators

For Professional Plus subscribers: visual flight rules chart layer

Professional Plus subscribers now have advanced access to an extra layer on the Skyward Airspace Map—the visual flight rules chart (VFR chart). This is highly useful for professional aviators who are used to navigating the sky with a VFR chart, and it provides additional insights into how traditional craft may be using airspace.

Skyward Airspace Map Visual Flight Rules Chart (VFR)

A perfect circle

The ever-popular circle joins the polygon, rectangle, and pencil tools for creating flight areas. You can now create a flight area by drawing a circle, and you can also see the circle’s radius while drawing.

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Latitude/longitude coordinates

Want to see the exact coordinates on the map? Just click any point, and the latitude and longitude of the point displays in decimal notation and degrees-minutes-seconds at the bottom right corner of the screen.

If you click another location on the map, new coordinates will display. And if you click the marker and drag it around the map, the coordinates will update simultaneous with the movement.

Copy and paste the coordinates into flight area descriptions to communicate precise locations with your crew, customers, or other stakeholders.

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Center points

After saving a flight area of any shape, you’ll now see the coordinates of the area’s center point in the Flight Area sidebar. If you fly in the U.S., this feature is especially useful for filing a NOTAM with the FAA.

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Duplicate Drones & Batteries

Earlier this year, we gave you the ability to duplicate flights. Many of you told us that this was a huge timesaver—and could we please do the same for batteries and flights. Done!

Drones
If your fleet includes more than one aircraft, just click Duplicate this Drone in an existing drone’s record or from the Drone Detail screen.

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Your new aircraft will be added with the following information:

  • Name (with “- copy” added to the end)
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Airworthy/not airworthy
  • Custom fields
  • Documents

You’ll only have to enter:

  • Serial number
  • Notes
  • Hours
  • Maintenance history

The status of the new drone is automatically set as Active. If you have a number of custom fields set for your organization, those will carry over too.

Batteries
As your fleet grows, keeping track of your batteries can present a major challenge without a system to keep everything organized.

Now, when you have more than one of a certain type of battery, you can duplicate it.

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Your new battery will be added with the following information:

  • ID number (with “- copy” added to the end)
  • Custom fields
  • Documents

You’ll only have to enter:

  • Notes
  • Maintenance history

The status of the copied battery will be set as Active.

Easy NOTAM Filing with Skyward

If you fly commercially in the U.S., the FAA requires you to file a NOTAM prior to every flight. We’ve streamlined this process for our Professional Plus subscribers by adding a NOTAM ready? check box on the Plan Flight page. Now you can let us know that your NOTAM is ready to be filed just by checking a box.

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