New FAA program allows companies to easily and legally pilot drones through "no-fly" zones

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

If you've been keeping tabs on the evolution of drone technology in the past couple of years, you're probably aware of some of the hurdles drone pilots have come across.

In 2017, the US' Federal Aviation Administration ruled that drone flights taking place over select US landmarks were illegal.

In the same year, the US military was granted the ability to legally shoot down drones that fly too close to their bases.

Neither ruling is necessarily unreasonable, but demonstrate the difficulty the government is having adapting to this new industry.

Current legislation has proven particularly frustrating for corporations. Transporting drones to customers can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, primarily because it's often necessary for them to travel through no-fly zones -- such the land surrounding an airport -- to reach their destination in a reasonable time frame.

Unfortunately for drone companies, the FAA usually requires written permission before a flight can be scheduled, a process Fast Company (FC) says can take weeks.

There's finally some good news for drone pilots, though. The FAA has rolled out a program called Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, or LAANC. LAANC aims to automate the airspace authorization and approval process, allowing companies to transport drones quicker than ever.

The program reportedly divides airspace into a large grid, and drone companies can choose the "blocks" of space they'll need to access. They can accomplish that through various existing drone management apps, according to FC.

The program is spreading across the US in waves right now and is currently available in South Central USA and Western North USA. Western South USA, which includes states like California, Nevada, and Arizona, will receive the program on June 21, 2018.

Image courtesy Kittyhawk

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
All well and good until one of these drones causes a major accident ...... and you know it's coming ....
 

Resulto

TS Rookie
“LAANC aims to automate the airspace authorization and approval process, allowing companies to transport drones quicker than ever.”

What in the world are you talking about? LAANC has nothing to do with “transporting drones” it’s designed to allow commercial drone operations within controlled airspace in a way that is safe, monitored, and in harmony with manned air traffic.

This author of this article seems painfully uninformed as to what LAANC is and is not.

Also, who edited this?
 

CloudCatcher

TS Member
All well and good until one of these drones causes a major accident ...... and you know it's coming ....
Such as what? Smacking into a jet and causing a tiny scratch on the paint job?
Tiny perhaps, but excruciatingly expensive nonetheless... Who is going to pay the bill?

And more importantly, besides the airframe itself other parts of the aircraft are more susceptible to damage, such as the engines, cockpit windows and instrument probes. In an industry as averse to even the tiniest risk as commercial aviation, introducing a potential threat without exercising due diligence in its implementation is not feasible.
 
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