Recreational and Enterprise Alike Are Taking To The Skies At Record Numbers

Kittyhawk is processing nearly half of all LAANC authorizations.

Drones are not simply a COVID technology that will come and go. Uncrewed systems are the future for how we play, how we work, and how we define mission-critical. At Kittyhawk, we’re seeing all-time record activity levels across our platform, and because of our unique perspective into the full spectrum of use cases — from recreational operators to the most advanced enterprise applications — we wanted to share some relevant data points into how adoption and utilization are setting all-time highs.

The highlight number the FAA recently announced was that there have been over 320,000 LAANC authorizations granted, but a deeper look provides even more evidence of LAANC utilization accelerating in 2020. There have been more LAANC authorizations granted this year than in the first 21 months of LAANC (going back to the first authorization in 2017). To put it another way, over a third of total LAANC authorizations granted occurred in just the first six months of 2020.

At Kittyhawk, there’s nothing we love more than a good safety story, and to that end, we’ve been thrilled to see that airspace authorizations are growing faster than ever. Kittyhawk is closing in on processing nearly half of all LAANC authorizations, driven by growing usage across multiple user bases (estimates based on publicly available data and numbers published by the FAA). For such a new technology, this sustained usage and adoption are powerful, and it speaks to the value of having access to the air.

Last summer we saw a surge in airspace activity on Kittyhawk with the launch of B4UFLY, as well as the release of LAANC airspace authorizations for recreational users. After some normalization and then typical winter seasonality (including a Christmas bump), airspace activity dipped briefly as shelter in place took effect across the country, albeit predominantly for recreational fliers as our enterprise data set continued to set record numbers each month in 2020.

Without question, recreational and commercial drone operators are more educated and situationally aware of their airspace than ever before and they are taking advantage of capabilities like LAANC to fly safely and compliantly.

The drone industry is going through a very health evolution, focused less on hardware specs and more on the job at hand. Whether that’s the new Skydio trying to keep up with my five-year-old daughter through the San Francisco fog or the new Parrot Anafi USA inspecting critical infrastructure in the Texas heat, flights are scaling and we’re humbled for the Kittyhawk platform and our patented airspace management capabilities to play a foundational role in so many *compliant* operations. Because safety and compliance are at the core of what we do, we’re continuing to work across our industry in leading on education, awareness, and shared best practices for the health of the National Airspace System.

Watch this video to learn more about using LAANC for Enterprise

Watch this video to learn more about using LAANC for Recreational Flying