Drone Assist is the new app for you, your drone and the UK's airspace. With the help of this app, you can fly your drone in the UK safely and legally.

From NATS and powered by Altitude Angel, Drone Assist is here to try and solve one major problem. As drones become more popular the number of UAVs being flown near airports is increasing. It is a major concern for commercial aircrafts, as the number of near misses have increased in the past year, causing disruption to air traffic and risking a major incident.

NATS' Drone Assist presents drone pilots with an interactive map of areas of airspace used by commercial air traffic. These areas are to be avoided or flown with great caution, especially as most of them are usually around airports and airfields. To make it easier for others to spot you, the app features a "Fly Now" button which shares your drone flight location with other app users, and the wider drone community, helping to reduce the risk of a drone related incident in the UK’s airspace.

The app also includes the location of ground based hazards that might pose a safety or privacy risk, such as power lines, schools or sports venues. Drone Assist is already available on Android and iOS.

The app has been developed in partnership with Altitude Angel, a leading UK-based company working on innovative future drone traffic management solutions.

“With the number of drone incidents on the rise, it’s clear that many people are unaware of the rules as set by the Civil Aviation Authority or their legal obligations as pilots. Drone Assist is designed to help everyone abide by the rules, identify areas of controlled and restricted airspace, therefore helping them to enjoy flying whilst ensuring their safety and the safety of other airspace users." said Phil Binks, NATS drone lead, “We’re delighted to have partnered with Altitude Angel to develop a tool that we hope will help improve drone safety in the UK and lead the way in international best practise.”

The UK Airprox Board, which investigates reports of aircraft near misses, has so far reported on approximately 50 drone incidents this year up from 11 during 2015. NATS is urging would-be drone pilots to be sure of the rules and regulations before taking to the skies.

Richard Parker, Altitude Angel's CEO and founder commented: “We are delighted to be working with NATS, and are proud that the UK is taking a global lead in addressing this issue as we work to keep our skies safe for all aerial citizens. Partnerships like this are an essential first-step to bringing together drone pilots and other stakeholders, all working towards greater airspace safety, and laying the foundation for a future where drones and manned aircraft can coexist without incident.”

In addition to Drone Assist, NATS and CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) launched a new website, dronesafe.uk, which is easily accessible through the application, and provides further information on the rules around drone flying in the UK, including the CAA's Drone Code and information on CAA-approved training courses. In a recent study by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), 40% of drone owners were aware of the CAA’s Dronecode, but few could recall specific rules when asked.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom.