FAA Has Begun Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Testing

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As of Monday, April 30, 2018, the FAA began phasing in a nationwide beta test of the (LAANC) Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability system. The rollout is expected to happen in 6 waves beginning with the central states including Texas. The system will be deployed initially at nearly 300 air traffic facilities covering approximately 500 airports. The beta test follows the successful evaluation of the prototype system in November of the last year.

The LAANC system provides access to controlled airspace near airports through near real-time processing of airspace authorizations below approved altitudes in controlled airspace.

LAANC helps support the safe integration of drones into the nation’s airspace. Drone operators using the system can receive near real-time airspace authorizations dramatically decreasing the wait experienced using the manual authorization process and allows operators to quickly plan their flights. LAANC uses airspace data provided through temporary flight restrictions, NOTAMS and UAS facility maps that show the maximum altitude ceiling around airports where the FAA may authorize operations under Part 107.

The LAANC system will help the drone pilot by automating the process.

Through LAANC pilots and drone companies can:

  • Apply to receive a near real-time authorization for operations under 400 feet in the controlled airspace around airports.
  • Request to fly above the designated altitude ceiling in a UAS Facility Map, up to 400 feet. Applicants may apply up to 90 days in advance of a flight and the approval is coordinated manually through the FAA.

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