How does LAANC benefit a drone pilot?

LAANC provides access for drone operators to controlled airspace around 731 airports in the US. LAANC provides even more transparency to Air Traffic Control and law enforcement in case they need to contact an operator.

Applying for LAANC on the Kittyhawk app, pilots can:

  • Receive a near real-time authorization for operations under 400 feet in controlled airspace around 731 airports.
  • Request to fly above the designated altitude ceiling in a UAS Facility Map, up to 400 feet.
  • Apply up to 90 days in advance of a flight and the approval is coordinated manually through the applicable airspace owners.
    LAANC authorization areas can span up to 10 miles.
  • Apply for a LAANC authorization for someone else in your organization. A UAS program manager can apply for a LAANC authorization on behalf of the UAS operator in the field who will be flying the mission, even if those people are scattered across the country. This saves time for the operator, gives a program manager a lot more flexibility to assign missions, and makes it much easier to track LAANC authorizations across an organization.
  • A user can have up to three LAANC authorizations occurring during the same time period. Operations using these overlapping LAANC authorizations must be located within 100 nautical miles of one another.

Note: If you are planning an operation in controlled airspace that requires a waiver AND an airspace authorization you must apply for both through the FAA’s Drone Zone. Learn more about this process here.

Is LAANC available for all controlled airspace in the US?

As of March 2021, LAANC is available at 538 LAANC Enabled Facilities and 731 airports across the US. A detailed list of all the FAA facilities participating in LAANC can be found here.

 View where LAANC is available.

List of LAANC-available Airports

How far in advance can I apply for LAANC?

Operators may submit intended operations well ahead of time (e.g. up to 90 days in advance). At a minimum, adequate time for ATC situational awareness is encouraged – for example, submitting operations at least a day or two before the operation commences. Most LAANC information exchanges occur in real-time (notifications and automatic authorizations) and provide immediate feedback to operators.

What are UAS Facility Maps (UASFMs) and how are they utilized for LAANC?

UASFMs are maps that depict pre-approved ceilings for flights in controlled airspace. UAS operators may use these altitudes as a guideline when submitting their UAS Airspace Authorization requests through LAANC.

NOTE: These maps DO NOT authorize operations in these areas at the depicted altitudes – they are for informational purposes ONLY. Operators must still apply to operate in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, or surface area E) by completing a Part 107 Airspace Authorization through LAANC on Kittyhawk or completing a Waiver Application in the FAA DroneZone.

Individuals who request a part 107 airspace waiver and authorization are encouraged to consult the maps prior to submitting a request to determine locations and altitudes that can be auto-approved through LAANC. It’s important to:

  1. Identify permissible altitude restrictions
  2. Determine automated or manual authorizations
  3. Tailor requests to align with areas on the maps for higher chance for automated approval

Can I combine other waivers or authorizations with LAANC?

No. For example, you cannot combine a night waiver with a LAANC authorization. LAANC covers daylight operations with a hard ceiling of 400 feet, even if you are near structures greater than 400 feet. Learn more about how to apply for airspace waivers and authorizations on the FAA’s DroneZone here.

Why should I choose Kittyhawk as my UAS Service Supplier (USS) for LAANC?

Kittyhawk is the leading FAA-approved UAS service supplier (USS), powering over half of the monthly LAANC authorizations in the US. Offering real-time airspace authorizations to enable flight in controlled airspace for enterprises and recreational flyers alike. For our enterprise customers, all your organization’s LAANC authorizations will automatically sync to your other logs and activity inside of Kittyhawk Air Control, helping you plan, fly and report your organization’s compliance seamlessly. Additionally, Air Control is the only end-to-end UAS fleet management and flight ops platform that leverages an enterprise-grade API to expedite the secure exchange of operational data like flight telemetry, video, photos, LAANC authorizations, and battery life, among customer business systems, Kittyhawk, and their fleet. Learn more about our enterprise-grade security here.

 Learn more about the benefits of using Kittyhawk Air Control to manage your fleets LAANC authorizations.

Is LAANC available for recreational flyers?

Yes, download the Kittyhawk app today to start applying for LAANC to enable flight in controlled airspace for your recreational UAS needs.

Why don't I have to apply for LAANC to operate an UAS near or around small municipal airports?

Only airports located in controlled airspace require LAANC authorizations to operate near or around. Many smaller municipal, regional, executive airports around the country are located in uncontrolled airspace meaning you do not need a LAANC authorization to operate near or around them.

According to the FAA’s statement on their website, “For [drone] flights near airports in uncontrolled airspace that remain under 400’ above the ground, prior authorization is not required.” Below are three tips to help you ensure your operation is safe and compliant while operating a UAS near an airport in uncontrolled airspace:

  1. When flying in these areas, remote pilots and recreational flyers must be aware of and avoid traffic patterns and takeoff and landing areas.
  2. A drone must not interfere with operations at the airport must yield the right-of-way to all other aircraft.
  3. Check the FAA’s B4UFLY app or web for specific information about the airspace you plan to operate in.