UASidekick, an AirWise affiliate, announced that it has partnered with the FAA to provide digital SGI (Special Governmental Interest) airspace authorizations.

In a statement, UASidekick explained that “public safety UAS operations are often required even when a given airspace is closed for national security reasons, such as Presidential travel.” In the past, authorizations were obtained through a manual process, leaving open the possibility for errors and delays. These new digital SGI authorizations, UASidekick said, provide “public safety and critical infrastructure the ability to quickly and easily obtain flight authorizations in temporarily closed airspace.”

Speaking with Commercial UAV News at this year’s XPONENTIAL event in San Diego, Airwise Solutions CTO Josh O’Leary explained that the new process addresses a pressing need for public safety professionals, drone operators, and the FAA. The collaboration with the FAA came together, he said, “because they knew it was a problem for first responders and other public safety officers. Think about it from their perspective—They'd be in an emergency situation and had to fill out paperwork and coordinate with people who aren't anywhere near them.”

To address the issue, O’Leary said, “We've made it all digital. We're the only ones doing a digital SGI right now, and it's 3-5 clicks. It's easy to do under stress.”

In addition to adding simplicity and efficiency to the process, O’Leary stressed that their SGI airspace authorization solution meets necessary regulations and requirements. “We want everything to be compliant and safe, which is ultimately the goal for every piece of software we make," he stated.

To access the digital SGI process, download a free trial of the UASidekick app ( Following your download, a quick email to [email protected] requesting SGI access to grant authorization will activate the functionality. (UASidekick requests any and all feedback, and/or functionality enhancements, to continuously improve this service – please use the above email.)