The FAA announced on Thursday that it has added 133 additional air traffic facilities to its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system. The LAANC system, which automates the airspace authorization application and approval process for drone operators, is run as a partnership between the agency and private unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) service suppliers. LAANC is available to drone pilots operating under Part 107 or under the exception for recreational flyers.
“As the FAA continues to modernize the national airspace to accommodate more users, the agency made LAANC accessible for 726 airports and 537 facilities, covering 81 percent of eligible airspace,” the FAA said. “This expansion is based on feedback from the drone community.”
LAANC is designed to provide near-real-time approval for qualified drone pilots making requests to fly below 400 feet in controlled airspace. Nationwide beta testing for the program began in April 2018 and included nearly 300 air traffic facilities covering almost 500 airports. The rollout was officially completed the following September.