Regulatory

Drone Airspace Integration System Now Live For All of US

By Nick Zazulia | September 20, 2018
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Image from video uploaded on YouTube by James Vincent

Low altitude authorization and notification capability (LAANC) for drone pilots has gone live at the sixth and final wave of airports, comprising the Central North region of the United States. As of Sept. 13, 470 airports and 288 air traffic control facilities across the country have LAANC capability, according to the FAA.

The Part 107 small UAS rule requires drone operators to obtain FAA authorization to operate in controlled airspace. LAANC lets operators use third-party services to receive near-real-time responses to authorization requests, dramatically decreasing wait times.

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The current LAANC program is a nationwide beta test that has been periodically rolled out throughout the country. It is a partnership between the government and industry as part of the federal effort — led by the FAA and the U.S. Department of Transportation — to integrate drones into the national airspace.

LAANC capability was added at the first wave of airports, the Central South region, in April, when acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell announced the effort. Additional regions have been added on a monthly basis since then.

Companies that have completed the steps to provide LAANC services include Harris, Airmap, Project Wing, Thales and Skyward.

Operators requesting authorization for airspace not participating in the LAANC program must use the legacy manual process for application, which also remains an alternate option for participating airspace.

This was originally published by sister publication Avionics International.

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