Restricted airspace surrounding Australian airports just became a lot easier to access after drone safety app FlyFreely was verified to provide automated airspace authorisations.

The Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) has verified the Australian startup to provide instantaneous controlled airspace authorisations as part of its automated airspace authorisation trial.

Users will now be able to seek entry to the controlled airspace at Canberra, Adelaide and Perth airports.

FlyFreely founder Dr David Cole said the trial would be a game-changer for commercial drone operators wanting to fly remotely piloted aircraft near controlled airports.

“Australia’s aviation rules restrict access to the airspace around airports, for safety reasons,” he said.

“The no-fly-zone extends in a 5km radius around controlled aerodromes, meaning many businesses that operate in and around these hubs are hamstrung in what they’re able to do.”

Dr Cole said the CASA trial would significantly reduce accessibility issues, helping to improve productivity across multiple industries.

“Up until now, professional drone operators wanting to gain access to the controlled airspace have had to pay $800 per application and wait up to 30 days for CASA to approve the request,” he said.

“We’re now able to provide instant authorisations at no cost during the trial.”

Dr Cole said efficiencies would be felt across multiple sectors, including construction, real-estate, media, telecommunications, energy and building services.

FlyFreely is one of just four companies to have been granted authorisation as part of the CASA and Airservices Australia trial.

By Press