As planned, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched the next wave of its beta Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system, which, as of today, is now available in the western north region of the country.
The program is designed to ultimately provide near-real-time processing of airspace authorization requests for unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators across the U.S. On April 30, starting in the south central region, the FAA began phasing in a nationwide beta test of LAANC that will deploy the system incrementally at nearly 300 air traffic facilities covering approximately 500 airports. The beta expansion follows the successful evaluation of a prototype LAANC system last November.
The #FAA’s LAANC capability is expanding to the #PNW regions of the U.S. It provides #drone pilots with near real-time safe access to our airspace. https://t.co/s65Y2jCIVA #FlySafe pic.twitter.com/1zSUsZLmQY
— The FAA (@FAANews) May 24, 2018
The system is being deployed in the following waves:
According to the FAA, LAANC helps support the safe integration of drones into the nation’s airspace. UAS operators using the system can receive near-real-time airspace authorizations – in turn, dramatically decreasing the wait time of the manual authorization process and allowing operators to quickly plan their flights. LAANC uses airspace data provided through temporary flight restrictions, NOTAMS and UAS facility maps showing the maximum altitude ceiling around airports where the FAA may authorize operations under Part 107.
More information about the specific locations can be found here.