A small surveillance drone flies during the annual military exercises held for the media at the Bergen military training grounds on October 2, 2013 near Munster, Germany.
Philipp Guelland—Getty Images
By Dan Kedmey
May 6, 2015

A new smartphone app will tell drone enthusiasts whether they’re cleared for takeoff, sparing them the trouble of interpreting a thicket of regulations on no-fly zones, the Federal Aviation Administration announced.

The app, called B4UFLY, will give hobbyists a simple “yea” or “nay” based on their location. “It only takes a few taps to find out if you’re cleared to fly,” FAA’s Michael Huerta said in a public announcement of the new app.

“We need to make sure hobbyists and modelers know where it’s okay to fly and where it isn’t okay to fly, because there can be very real consequences if you don’t,” Huerta added. “The incident on the White House lawn earlier this year is a good example,” Huerta continued, referring to a drone enthusiast who mistakenly crashed a quad copter within the White House’s secured compound (a definite “nay” for the B4UFLY app).

B4UFLY will release to 1,000 beta testers on Apple devices this summer, with an Android version slated for later development.

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