SkyDemon and NATS launch free pre-flight planning tool for GA safety

08 April 2011

SkyDemon, an innovative UK software company and NATS, the UK’s leading air traffic services provider, today announce the launch of SkyDemon Light, a free pre-flight planning tool to assist pilots in safely and easily planning their Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight in and around busy airspace and NOTAM activity.

SkyDemon was chosen by NATS as a launch partner based on the company’s proven experience developing VFR software tools and technology, and a shared desire for UK pilots to have access to a simple, free interface for pre-flight planning.

The tool, which can be found at is the first of its kind, and the first product to be awarded NATS’ compliance mark for pre-flight planning.  This mark indicates that the product complies with functionality set out by NATS to enhance GA flight safety:

  • Simple user interface
  • Free at point of use
  • Graphical NOTAM depiction
  • Generates alerts when a planned route interacts with controlled or restricted airspace
  • Generates basic Pilot’s Log
  • Comprehensive VFR database

“Pre-flight planning is one of the most important steps to safe GA flight. The NATS compliance mark indicates our belief that pre-flight planning tools such as SkyDemon Light will deliver concrete safety benefits by making pre-flight planning simple, free to access and visually engaging.” said Jonathan Smith, NATS Infringement Lead. “I would encourage all pilots to do pre-flight briefing, and SkyDemon Light makes it easier than ever to take this crucial safety precaution.”

SkyDemon Light’s intuitive interface makes choosing a route as simple as a few clicks on the rich VFR chart. Interaction with controlled airspace and hazardous areas is clearly indicated and, when required, a route can be easily dragged to avoid confliction or complex airspace.

Recognizing the clear desire among the GA community for graphical NOTAM depictions, SkyDemon Light features NOTAM information drawn from the same European Aeronautical Information System Database that AIS uses, clearly displayed on the chart.  This information is supported by a comprehensive, textual Narrow Route Brief containing all the relevant NOTAM information for a planned route. Routes can be saved and reloaded, and used in other software packages in GPX format.

“SkyDemon Light offers a free, single source for pre-flight briefing information that is easy to interpret and intuitive to use.  Our aim is to help pilots prepare for their flight by keeping in mind potential hazards while still on the ground. This will help reduce airspace infringements while enhancing the safety and the enjoyment of flying” said Tim Dawson, SkyDemon. “NATS has awarded SkyDemon Light a compliance mark to distinguish its functionality.  SkyDemon are extremely proud to display this mark and will continue to serve GA by developing technology solutions to solve the problems pilots face.”

For further information on the Safety Compliance Mark, or to apply for the mark, please go here.

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