Fast Drone Flight Logs, Global Airspace

05/12/2016

Senior Product Director at Skyward

Earlier this week, the Skyward operations management platform got some high-impact, high-performance updates, including a few entirely new features.  Be sure to log in and check out the new features. And if you’re new to Skyward, you can give it a test drive by signing up for a free trial.   

Since we first launched in December, our customers have taught us a lot. You’ve told us that creating a dependable, time-saving workflow is essential for running your business. You’ve told us you want to be able to collaborate with crews in the field and quickly log flights.

This is my favorite type of feedback, and we’ve used it to shape the Skyward platform. Here’s what’s new.

A Complete Operational Workflow

If you’re a detail-oriented, compliance-focused business manager, this is for you.

So many of you told us that a typical job includes multiple flights. So we’ve given you a new feature to create a complete operational workflow. Now you can plan one job with multiple flights, including graphical flight areas with points of interest, as well as assigning flight crews, drones, and batteries.

Start by drawing a flight area as usual, and then click plan in the Flight Area section to the left of the map. That will automatically assign your flight area to a new operation.

Or, you can go start by clicking Plan in the top-level navigation.

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You or your pilots can plan or log multiple flights that are part of a larger operation.

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If you’re a Professional Plus subscriber, this is also where you’ll submit NOTAMs. Click the button in the upper right of your screen.

Fast Drone Flight Logging + DJI Imports

But, if you’re somebody who rarely plans operations in advance and just wants an easy way to log, we’ve made drone flight logging straightforward. Just click Log in the upper right of your dashboard and immediately log an operation—no planning required.

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And, if you use DJI aircraft, you can now import your flight logs into Skyward, making it easier to to maintain your single system of record.

The Skyward Airspace Map Is Global—and Simple

The Skyward Airspace Map now includes data for every country on earth, validated by our geospatial analysts.

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And we’ve made the map simpler too, with red and yellow airspaces to show where flights are off limits and where you need special permission.  

With this update we included contact information for airports and agencies so you know exactly who to contact for coordination or special permission. Just click a red or yellow area on the map, and the information will show up in the Airspace tab on the left of the screen. If you’re in the U.S., National Parks display in yellow, complete with contact information.

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For the experienced aviators, the VFR sectional is available with a Professional Plus subscription.

We also added a distance and bearing measurement tool in the map to help streamline flight planning; the tool returns distance in metric, imperial, and nautical miles, as well as compass heading from start to end.

Recreational Airspace

Commercial operators are far from the only drone pilots. All those recreational pilots need safe airspace too—and here’s the thing; in many countries, there are different rules for recreational pilots.

So we’ve given our map a recreational view so that all of us, including the Skyward team, knows where we can fly safely when we fly for fun. When you’re on the map, select Commercial or Recreational and the airspace information will change based on the rules in a given country.

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Reporting

If you fly for multiple organizations within Skyward, you’ll see that your pilot hours now accrue across all your organizations. If you’re a contractor or a freelancer, this will help you prove your experience and professionalism to potential clients.

Professional and Professional Plus subscribers can now download monthly reports as CSV files. Our customers have mentioned a wide range of metrics they want to report on, so we’ve given you the ability to capture any information in your report. Just type “Report:” into a custom field, and it will be pulled into your monthly report download.

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Many of you continue sending me great ideas, and it’s these ideas that help us make Skyward better for you.  Keep the feedback coming! I read every single email submitted to support@skyward.io.

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