LVNL launch Altitude Angel powered GoDrone flight approval service

Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) has today introduced two significant upgrades for drone operators. These upgrades include creating an account in the (web)app and the ability for certified drone operators to submit an application, and receive permission, to fly in controlled airspace (CTR) via the Altitude Angel powered GoDrone app and website.

With the new feature, LVNL is making the process for these kinds of applications, which until now was conducted via telephone or e-mail, quicker and more efficient.

“We’re excited by this upgrade in the GoDrone app and web portal,” says Jurgen van Avermaete, General Manager Procedures at LVNL. “Certified drone pilots and organisations can register and create an account for free and in doing so are able to submit preliminary applications for drone flights in controlled airspace in the Netherlands. It is an important step in safely integrating drones in Dutch airspace.”

By creating an account, the user gains access to the GoDrone Operator Portal. This portal is a pre-flight planning tool which provides information about the airspace and obstacles on the ground. It helps the operator to carefully prepare their mission, conduct the drone flight safely and efficiently, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, certified drone operators can create a profile for their company in the app. This makes it possible to add other users to this organisation and assign them a role, such as ‘drone operator’ or ‘observer’. 

Planning and obtaining preliminary permission for a drone flight in a CTR involves submitting a mission plan via the app or web version. The submitted mission plan is then assessed by LVNL. The submitter of the mission plan will be kept informed of the progress of the assessment via SMS and e-mail. Currently, users can file their request 24 hours in advance.

In the case of a positive assessment, the applicant will be given provisional authorisation. For now, a flight plan must still be submitted on the Homebriefing website of LVNL one hour before the flight. It is also still mandatory to request a final flight clearance from the air traffic controller via radio frequency prior to the flight. The LVNL Operations Helpdesk remains the primary point of contact for operational questions prior to drone flights in a CTR. These are the first steps in giving access to the CTR. LVNL expects this process to become easier and shorter in time.

Crucially, the areas for which an operator has submitted a mission are also visible to all other users in GoDrone. This information will eventually also be used to inform manned aviation (such as low-flying emergency helicopters) about planned and actual drone flights, building a layer of safety into the airspace which wasn’t previously there.

Since the launch in April 2020, several updates to the operating system of the GoDrone app have been made. Examples include improving the visibility of the subsurface/map in the case of multiple overlapping restricted areas, clarified display of natura-2000 sites and inclusion of a review of regulations for drone operators. LVNL, alongside Altitude Angel, will continue to work on the further development of the app and the web version to incorporate user feedback and insights from the drone community.

GoDrone is free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play Store and can be accessed via  www.godrone.nl.

About Altitude Angel: 

Altitude Angel is an aviation technology company delivering solutions which enable the safer integration and use of fully automated drones into airspace. Through its Airspace Management platform, GuardianUTM O/S, they deliver the essential software platform which enable national deployments of U-Space compatible services, safely unlocking the potential of drones and helping national aviation authorities and air navigation service providers to establish new services to support the growth in the drone industry.  

The foundation components of GuardianUTM O/S are also available to enable third-party UTM developers to incorporate enterprise-grade data and services into their UTM solutions.  

Altitude Angel was founded by Richard Parker in 2014 and is headquartered in Reading, UK.  

Altitude Angel’s developer platform is open and available to all at https://developers.altitudeangel.com.  

About GuardianUTM: 

GuardianUTM enables drone manufacturers and software developers to connect into a rich, dynamic source of accurate, authoritative and relevant information to support geofencing, while offering enhanced UTM capabilities such as a single interface to multi-country flight authorisation. 

The system was demonstrated as part of ‘Operation Zenith’ in 2018, offering enhanced airport safeguarding and automated approvals to fly in controlled airspace. Altitude Angel is now bringing online functionality to enable drone pilots anywhere in the world to get 1-click access to controlled airspace. 

Its companion product, GuardianUTM O/S, supports all the functionality required to deliver national-grade drone traffic management capabilities to any country that wishes to safely unlock the potential of drones.

Introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd0pvUrS07g 

About LVNL
Air Traffic Control the Netherland (LVNL) is responsible for the management of the civil airspace and everything that this involves. For example, modernization and management of technological systems, providing aeronautical information, air traffic control training and providing aeronautical maps and publications.

For over 90 years, LVNL has been ensuring safe air traffic flows, in a professional and competent manner. We are proud to be the ones performing this responsible task. Read more at https://en.lvnl.nl/.

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