The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun a nationwide test of the low altitude authorization and notification capability (LAANC) system that is intended to support the safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System (NAS).
The FAA says that it began phasing in a nationwide beta test on Monday and that it eventually will be in place at nearly 300 air traffic facilities that serve about 500 airports. The last group of air traffic facilities will be incorporated into LAANC in mid-September.
LAANC is designed to provide near real-time airspace authorizations to drone operators using the program, the FAA said, adding that the system also will decrease the waiting time associated with the manual authorization process and will allow operators to more quickly prepare flight plans.
LAANC uses airspace data derived through temporary flight restrictions, notices to airmen and unmanned aircraft systems maps.
The FAA said that it also is considering agreements with other entities to provide LAANC services. Supplier applications must be submitted by May 16. Additional information is available on the FAA website.
The FAA added that it is working with the industry to “develop and deploy LAANC applications, which will help set the global standard for a safe, and efficient unmanned traffic management system.”