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Australian drone startup FlyFreely gets CASA approval

Knowing where you can fly a drone in Australia just became a lot easier after the country’s peak aviation body verified software developed by Australian startup FlyFreely.

The Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) today announced it had authorised the use of five new drone safety apps.

FlyFreely is now one of only eight companies to have been awarded the verification.
Founder Dr David Cole said it was great to receive the formal recognition.

“This will make a huge difference to our customers,” he said.

“No matter if they are in the field or office, our customers can instantly determine where they can and cannot fly.

“Previously they had to check multiple different data sources.”

Dr Cole said the time-savings for FlyFreely customers would be immeasurable, with customers saving up to 80 per cent of their time on their planning processes.

“We now provide a fully integrated, end-to-end solution to meet all requirements under the Part 101 Manual of Standards, and is CASA verified,” he said.

“Our software contains all of the features needed to plan, approve, execute and reconcile operations.

“Our customers can now plan their missions and operate with the confidence they aren’t going to run into any compliance issues.”

The FlyFreely team has been working with CASA on the verification since the start of 2021.

“It’s a really huge achievement for the whole team,” Dr Cole said.

“They’ve put in a huge amount of effort while also continuing to provide seamless support to our customers and developing other new features for our software.

“The next step for us is automated airspace authorisation, which is slated for early 2022.”

The latest news caps off a big year for the Brisbane-based startup.

FlyFreely has recently expanded into New Zealand.

Dr Cole said he was now in talks with Airways NZ, CASA’s counterpart across the Tasman, in the hope of connecting to its system in the coming months. FlyFreely will then look to connect with other unmanned aircraft system traffic management providers around the globe in 2022.

The five drone safety apps authorised by the civil aviation authority can be found on its website and on the Know Your Drone website.

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