Drone Assist App ReviewDrone Assist is a drone flying safety App from NATS, the UK’s main Air Traffic Control provider, in partnership with Altitude Angel, it is available for free from both the iOS and Android store.
The Drone Assist app itself is essentially an interactive map that gives you information about the airspace around you. It colour codes different types of airspace and will tell you the risks in your current location and whether it is advised to fly. It covers everything from airspace around airports to schools, prisons, overhead power lines and even areas where you need to give advanced notice to fly. On top of that, it will show other drone operators on the map who have logged their flights as 'in progress' through the app.
On top of that, it has a feature to ‘fly now’ and this is the equivalent of a simple flight log containing a flight title, optional flight description and whether the flight is for recreational or commercial purposes.
If you use your smartphone when flying or do not have access to one, then you can plan your flights with them prior to the trip on the Altitude Angel website using their drone safety map.
People occasionally say that this is a 'big brother’ kind of surveillance on flying drones. But you are not forced to log flights and at the heart of it, is a really useful tool for planning flights and keeping safe. If you blindly ignore the rules and create dangerous situations then you should not be flying and you will not be covered by any kind of insurance policy you may have. You are also liable for any damage you cause and this can be followed up with legal action.
This is still only a guideline and a tool, you still may need to talk to other 3rd parties before flying. You also need to be sure to maintain line of sight with your drone at all times. Drone Assist recommend you always fly using the drone code, you can find it here at www.dronesafe.uk.
There is not a great deal to say about this app, the functionality is very straightforward and the usability of it is very simple to get to grips with. The concept is good, but it relies on the community to grow quite significantly for the user flight features to be useful. This does look to be on track though as the community has grown over 10,000 users within 10 weeks of the app going live. Something that could be improved is the addition of who to contact when flying is not recommended in specific areas. But overall the app is very useful to check airspace before going out, even if you don't use any of the other features.
Review Score 4 out of 5 stars
You can check it out using the app store links below