The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is taking important steps forward for the safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System. Yesterday, September 13th, the final installment of LAANC went live in the Central North region. LAANC successfully expanded to 288 air traffic control facilities and 470 airports across the United States.
LAANC enables drone pilots to receive authorization to fly in certain airspace in near real-time.
On April 30, Acting FAA Administrator, Dan Elwell, made a public commitment to accelerate the safe integration of drones into U.S. airspace by expanding the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) nationwide. In just a few months, the plan has come through to full fruition.
On April 30, Acting #FAA Administrator Dan Elwell made a commitment to accelerate the safe integration of #drones by expanding #LAANC nationwide. Today, the final installment of LAANC goes live & expands to 288 #ATC facilities & 470 #airports. https://t.co/TVJSA5kqm2 pic.twitter.com/Rc7TWtR4uQ
— The FAA (@FAANews) September 13, 2018
What is LAANC?
LAANC is the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, a collaboration between FAA and the private industry. It directly supports UAS integration into the airspace, by providing access to controlled airspace near airports through near real-time processing of airspace authorizations below approved altitudes in controlled airspace.
Prior to LAANC, the only way to get permission to fly in restricted airspace near an airport was to submit an airspace authorization request through the FAADroneZone, and wait up to 90 days. Now, for some operations, authorization can be granted in near real time.
Approved LAANC UAS Service Suppliers
The following companies have completed the technical steps required and entered into agreement with the FAA to provide LAANC Services:
- Harris Corporation
- Project Wing
- Thales Group
Updates to this list can be found here.
How does LAANC benefit drone pilots?
Under the small UAS rule, pilots or operators planning to fly in controlled airspace under 400 ft. must receive an airspace authorization from the FAA.
Drone pilots will benefit from LAANC in many ways:
- Decrease wait time to receive authorization to fly in controlled airspace
- Greater flexibility in operational planning
- Receive near real-time authorization for operations under 400 feet in controlled airspace around airports
- Ability to request to fly above the designated altitude ceiling in a UAS Facility Map, up to 400 ft.
How do you expect LAANC to impact your drone operations? Share your thoughts on our community forum.