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COLLABORATIVE SUA OPERATIONAL PLANNING

It probably came as a surpise to you when you paid for your training that as a commercial operator you could spend at least as much time putting together a flight plan from multiple sources than you would spend actually performing a mission.


A pre-operational site survey to identify risks and hazards, the ever present threat of bad weather, compiling a risk assessment and then checking for NOTAMs that might impinge on your intended area of operation. It's a pain but it has to done because not every mission goes smoothly and, if the worst happens and damage or injury is the result, then the first thing that your insurance company - or maybe even the authorities - will ask for is your flight plan.


As a member of the airspace community you have a role that carries serious responsibilities of care in operation promoted by exercising due diligence in preparation.


FLIGHT SURVEY gives you a head start by helping you to quickly and easily produce a professional flight plan that will withstand the scrutiny that you hope it never attracts. And, if you are operating in a supported FIR and plan to fly in controlled or restricted airspace, then you can file it with your aviation authority at the click of a button and engage in a near real time two way communication with ATC to resolve potential conflicts and gain authorised approval.


And the more you use it, the easier it gets:


- Define asset packs of craft and equipment that can be assigned with one click.

- Build a library of risk assessment entries that can be easily inserted into new plans.

- Clone missions to a new date taking all of the inventory, risk assessment and deployment details along with it.

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It's also bi-lingual; English, the ICAO designated language of international air space, and the preferred language for the subscriber. You can share a plan with your colleagues and customers by linking to their domains and with authorities at the click of a button, or you can just distribute it as a PDF.


Geospatial information system

Browser based GIS application with advanced planning tools for deployment, national aviation standards, nearby features and user objects.

Inventory & Battery log

Maintain an inventory of all of your equipment to be assigned to missions and easily enter battery charging details.

Unlimited planner accounts

Create unlimited accounts for your domain at no extra cost. Link to other domains as a customer or supplier to share plans, personnel and resources.

Ten day weather forecasts

Updated daily, forecasts provide probable maximums for wind speed and rainfall by the hour with distance and AMSL of the weather station.

Airspace & NOTAMs

Controlled, restricted and incident incursion warnings - including nearby missions - with hourly NOTAMs updates.

Work offline

Available in May, the app allows offline entry of flight records and push notifications of the approval process and any new NOTAMs or incidents.


KEY FEATURES

  • ALL
  • SUA
  • ATC

Advanced deployment, here showing selectable features within extended visual line of sight facilitated by two strategically placed observers.

ATC view entire FIR showing all missions planned over a period colour coded by approval status ...

Possible incursions of airspace, restricted areas, nearby missions and NOTAMs are recalculated whenever the mission is viewed or refreshed.

ATC focused view on a particular segment of airspace with frequent automated updates.

Dynamically produced PDF flight plan encapsulates all of the missions critical data along with a formal risk assessment.

Aerodromes, restricted areas and incidents can be maintained by the authority with their preferred exclusion buffer.

Automatically create a library of commonly used risk assessment entries that can be easily recycled and edited if required.

Apply Regulatory or ATC non-compliancy filters to suppress compliant or non-incursive operations.

Add as many planner accounts as you wish at no extra cost and, optionally, enforce a hierachy.


IAA field trials


The Irish Aviation Authority is to commence field trials of FLIGHT SURVEY in April 2019 to test its suitability for managing operational approval for SUA missions in controlled airspace.

Although commercial SUA operators in Ireland already possess the qualifications to operate in many scenarios beyond those allowed for hobbyists they still have to apply for permission to fly missions in controlled airspace or close by restricted areas such as aerodromes, prisons and other sensitive locations.

This is currently acheived by filling in and submitting a pro forma, a process which is putting ever increasing pressure on the IAA ATM team as there were over 1,000 applications made for SUA missions in the Dublin area in 2018 alone. FLIGHT SURVEY allows registered users to excercise due diligence in an accessible GIS desktop environment and, if necessary, submit their flight plan at the click of a button.

In an email sent out to all Irish commercial SUA operators by the IAA, Cathal Mac Criostail stated;

"The IAA has contributed from an ATM perspective to the development of this system in the hope that it will deliver an online solution for both drone operators and the ATM team. It delivers a drone view and an IAA ATM Operations view of activity on any given day. If this is a success it means that the manual application process can be streamlined and therefore reduce the turnaround for drone details that fall outside restricted areas. This would also be a significant benefit to the ATM team ..."

The authority will also be able to enter details on incidents with immediate email and SMS notifications to all operators who have missions planned in the affected area. Once the system has bedded down a mobile app will be made freely available to registered users to receive critical updates, including NOTAMs, via push notifications as well as letting them engage in the approval process from their mobile devices.

The app will also allow for updates to the mission workflow and facilitate the entry of flight records.


PROPOSED WORKFLOW


Identification


The SUA operator receives graphical and report based notifications of any possible airspace incursions whilst the Aviation Authority control panel is regularly updated with planned missions showing time and location, proposed maximum altitude and approval status.



Mitigation


SUA operators can address airspace and restricted area incursions by mitigating these and other potential hazards in a structured risk assessment which forms the basis of a flight plan. If ATC identify potential infringements then they can issue an advisory requesting the flight plan.



Resolution


The approval process is handled by near real-time two way communication between the SUA operator and ATC that promotes a greater mutual understanding of the operational challenges enabling them to collaborate in identifying measures that will lead to an early resolution.


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FIR CHANNELS REQUIRED

FLIGHT SURVEY has been designed with multilingual operations in mind and we are looking to roll out the system to as many FIRs as possible over the coming months where English is not the primary language.

To become a channel the only investment that we require from you is your time but we do need you to fully engage with us from the start by working with us to set up and maintain idiomatic translations of the system's user interface, the user forum and this website.

You will also be required to promote the system to your country's SUA community by using social media and, in return, you will receive a share of every monthly subscription that falls within your designated FIR.

If you have a good operating knowledge of the SUA industry in your country, have an excellent understanding of English and can translate it, are confident in the use of social media and want to earn commission by channeling growth for FLIGHT SURVEY then please get in contact.


To apply enter "Channel" as the subject in the contact form above.