The last piece of the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system, which allows “near real-time processing of airspace authorizations” for drone operators, went live last week, according to a statement made by FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell. LAANC was rolled out incrementally by region, beginning with the south central U.S. at the end of April and finishing with the north central region on Sept. 13.
“LAANC is a technological solution that helps us safely integrate drones into our airspace,” said Elwell. “It gives our air traffic controllers visibility into where and when authorized drones are flying near airports so they can have more flexibility to plan flight operations.”
According to the FAA, LAANC will be beta tested nationwide through the rest of 2018. The system now covers 288 ATC facilities and 470 airports across the country and is designed to streamline the approval process for routine Part 107 drone flights below approved altitudes in controlled airspace and to help integrate drones into the national airspace system. LAANC services are provided by private contractors.