Airspace Link Inc., a Detroit-based leader in drone mapping and solution software, announced it will be partnering with the city of Arlington, Tex., to pilot its new FlySafe Program, which will be powered by the AirHub platform.
“We continue to explore the advantages that drones can provide to our community from economic development to public safety, and we are excited to unlock new benefits for our residents through this pilot project,” says Alicia Winkelblech, senior strategic initiatives officer for the City of Arlington.
Arlington will be the first city in Texas to launch its FlySafe website with Airspace Link. It will enable residents and visitors to quickly understand FAA drone rules, local advisories, ground risk hazards, and additional information to help plan safe and compliant flights in the city.
In FlySafe, drone pilots obtain flight authorizations within controlled airspace through Airspace Link’s AirHub platform, a geographic information system (GIS)-based digital mapping system.
“We’ve already seen the use of drones within our department help keep our officers safer while increasing efficiency and the speed of response time in certain cases,” says Lt. Neal Landfield, aviation unit program manager at the Arlington Police Department.
In September, infrared video from a city-owned drone helped police determine a wanted man on a roof was unarmed, which led to a peaceful surrender. Drones also can support the department in search and rescue operations.
“Deploying this program will support the recreational and commercial use of drones in the region with additional safeguards to alert the public of police drone activity to increase safety on both sides,” says Landfield.
Along with Airspace Link, Arlington also is a member of the North Central Texas Council of Government (NCTCOG) as it has worked to deploy initiatives to further advance air mobility integrations.
The NCTCOG entered into an agreement with NASA in May of 2021 to study the potential of drone technology and integrate it into future transportation plans. In a joint release, the teams cited that NASA will work with NCTCOG and a group of public- and private-sector partners to study cargo-carrying drones and automated air taxis.
“We’ve been working in the region for a while as part of the North Texas UAS Pilot Program to enable safer drone operations today while laying the groundwork for advanced operations in the future,” says Michael Healander, CEO of Airspace Link.
“It’s imperative to properly prepare for the increase in operations to ensure the infrastructure can support the safe deployment of this new dimension of mobility in the skies, and we look forward to partnering with Arlington to help them lead the way.”
Airspace Link will also be joining the NCTCOG at its December “Know B4 You Fly Your Drone” workshop to help train pilots in the area to use the AirHub platform to increase their situational awareness and safety when planning drone operations.