February 01, 2021

How do Wing drones safely share the skies?

Safety is Wing’s first priority. Wing operates in complex airspace and uses a range of different technologies and processes to help ensure safety with other aircraft.

Wing flies in very low level airspace. Wing operates in very low level, low use airspace over populated areas between 30 and 40 metres (100 to 150 feet) above obstacles. Manned aircraft typically do not fly in this airspace.

Wing plans safe flights with multiple drones. Wing automatically plans a safe flight path to avoid other Wing drones, taking into account airspace restrictions, obstacles and weather. In addition, Wing has worked with NASA, the FAA and industry partners to show how different drones, operated by different entities, can share their flight plans through the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) network to help avoid each other.

Wing engages other airspace users. Before launching a new service, Wing proactively engages local aircraft clubs, flight schools, emergency helicopter operators, airports and other aviation businesses to raise awareness of our delivery service. In addition, Wing’s operating area is shared with manned pilots through traditional aviation notifications.

Wing avoids manned aircraft. Wing uses ground-based ADS-B receivers to help detect and avoid other manned aircraft carrying ADS-B transmitters. Many manned aircraft carry these ADS-B transmitters, helping to improve safety in complex airspace. Wing is also conducting trials to explore how drones with onboard ADS-B receivers can automatically detect and avoid other aircraft.

Wing helps to enable responsible drone operations. Wing is committed to promoting safe and responsible flying by all airspace users. For example, Wing is making some UTM capabilities freely-available to help hobbyists and commercial drone operators plan safe and compliant flights. In Australia, drone operators can already access these features via the OpenSky smartphone app to find safe areas to fly and check CASA’s regulatory requirements.

Patterns for UTM software mapping safe flight paths