Since it came online in 2017, the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) has provided drone pilots with fast, automated access to controlled airspace. In many areas it opened the skies to business by shortening the wait time for airspace approval from months to seconds. Skyward was one of the very first FAA-approved LAANC service suppliers.
Now, we’re excited to announce that the FAA has enabled LAANC in 130 new areas of controlled airspace. This means LAANC is now available at more than 725 airports across the United States. Each of these facilities is available in Skyward today.
As an example, let’s take a look at the airspace in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. Blue shapes show areas accessible through LAANC, while orange shapes are unavailable. Before today, much of this airspace was unavailable to drone pilots:
Now, with the newly enabled LAANC areas and an update to Skyward’s drone airspace map, check out how much more airspace is available today:
For a complete listing of LAANC-enabled airports, including the new facilities, download our freshly updated Guide to LAANC Facilities.
What’s new with LAANC?
Most of the newly-added LAANC airspace is at smaller regional airports. These locations see less activity than larger airports, and become Class G airspace (uncontrolled) during hours that see less use. That means this kind of airspace only requires authorization from Air Traffic during certain hours of the day. At any other time, the airspace is not controlled.
For example, the airspace at Chico Municipal Airport (CIC) is Class D (controlled) every day from 7 AM to 7 PM local time. If you need to fly in the area during these hours, you can request a LAANC authorization just like normal. If you want to fly outside these hours — for example, at 8 PM — there’s no need to submit a LAANC request. Just be sure you’re flying according to standard Part 107 regulations.
What else is new in Skyward?
As always, Skyward’s airspace intelligence map simplifies complex airspace information to show you what you need to know at a glance. We recently gave our airspace cards a fresh, clean design update. And for airspace that is controlled on a schedule, the card now displays the active hours.
Skyward now visually differentiates between current and future Temporary Flight Restrictions. By displaying current TFRs in red and future TFRs in yellow, drone pilots can better understand where they can or cannot fly ahead of time.
We also made a few improvements in order to streamline the user workflow for submitting LAANC requests. Skyward uses information from a planned operation to automatically determine whether or not you need to submit a LAANC request in the first place.
Ultimately, Skyward helps you comply with federal airspace laws by helping you obtain permission to access controlled airspace. Skyward also helps drone programs follow their own corporate policies, helping them track their operations in one end-to-end drone management workflow.
To learn more about accessing LAANC in Skyward, check out our updated Guide to LAANC Facilities.