For Operations that use a recurring flight area or job sites that your team is flying often, Skyward provides the ability to save your flight areas to the Flight Area Library. This article discusses how to access the catalog of flight areas and use them in your operational planning.
First, navigate to the map by selecting the Map option in the top-level menu.
From the Map, in the upper-left corner there’s an icon that looks like a number of stacked squares. This button toggles open the Flight Area Library.
The Flight Area Library is where all of your team’s saved shapes are stored. You can use any of those shapes to pull a flight area into a new Operation. You'll see the Recent Areas at the top, and then an alphabetical list of flight areas below that.
There are a number of components in the Flight Area Library to be aware of:
- The View All button allows you to toggle all flight areas to be open at the same time and visible on the map
- The eyeball icon allows individual or multiple flight areas to be selected and shown on the map
- The Import KML option allows for closed polygons to be imported as new flight areas
- The Add Area button allows new flight areas to be drawn from scratch and saved
- The Search field allows for searching the existing flight areas in the library
- The ‘+’ icon to the right of the flight area allows it to be pulled into an Operation
- The ‘…’ icon allows for flight areas to be edited, renamed, or deleted (more on this below)
To import .kml shape files into Skyward, use the Import KML option in the flight area library. Once selected, Skyward will open the file browser on your local machine so that you can select the .kml that you’d like to use.
Once you’ve selected the .kml to use, you’ll see a confirmation in the upper-right corner when it’s successfully added as a flight area.
Following import, the shape will appear in the Flight Area Library and can then be pulled into Operations.
Adding Flight Areas to the Library:
Using the Add Area button in the library allows for creating a new area that’s meant to be saved in the library.
Note: for adding a single-use shape that doesn’t need to be in the library, use the New Operation option from the airspace cards. See Planning Flight Areas for more information.
Once Add Area is clicked, you’ll enter Draw Mode, where you can select a draw tool at top-left to begin to draw your flight area. Currently, only the polygon tool exists, but we’ll be adding a circle tool shortly.
Using the polygon tool, select the points that you want to make up the boundaries of your flight area. Once you’ve outlined the entire flight area, make sure you close the polygon clicking back on the original point. Once the polygon is closed, you’ll see the Next button at the bottom of the screen become available.
At this point, after you’ve clicked Next, you’ll be asked to provide a shape name for your newly saved flight area. This name will be the way that it displays in the flight areas list.
At Skyward, we use shape names that are representative of the geographic areas of the shapes. An example would be: USA - Oregon - Portland - Jefferson High School. If you have a corporate policy in place, be sure to follow your SOPs when naming any shapes for the library.
Additional Area Library Options:
Selecting the ‘+’ button next to a flight area that’s listed in the Flight Area Library will allow that shape to be pulled into a blank Operation. For tips on operation planning, please review the Operation Planning article in this user guide.
Selecting the ‘…’ icon next to the flight area allows users to either edit, rename, or delete their shape files. Please note that deleting of flight areas is restricted to Organization Admins only. Pilots can only rename them at this time.
Editing Flight Areas:
Should you need to make a change to an existing flight area in the library, select the Edit option under the '...' icon as shown in the screenshot above. Once Edit is selected, you'll be taken to the map, where the shape will appear with a series of points that allow for changing the shape:
Drag the shape into the desired proportions, and once you're finished, use the Save at the bottom of the screen to save the changes and update the shape.