On November 21, 2019, the FAA’s LAANC program added four major airports, opening up valuable airspace close to major cities for near-real-time airspace authorizations. The airports added are Houston Hobby (KHOU), Washington Dulles (KIAD), Baltimore (KBWI), and Newark (KEWR).

These four airports are more complicated than your average airport. Baltimore and Washington Dulles are inside the Washington DC SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area) where there are specific rules in place for aircraft operations around Washington DC. Houston Hobby and Newark are both near even larger Class B airports in major cities with busy airspace.

Accessing Valuable Airspace, Safely

The reason why the inclusion of these four airports is important is that these airports and their surrounding airspace are located near areas where there is a higher concentration of people and businesses – meaning more opportunity to utilize drones in the workplace. Opening up more airspace via LAANC allows drone programs to operate more predictably, more efficiently, more safely, and more often.

LAANC is a powerful tool for compliance and operational safety. When you use LAANC, you are proactively sharing valuable contextual information with ATC like where, when, and what altitude you plan to operate. The process for applying for LAANC authorizations is so easy that it removes any reasons for not having a valid authorization for every flight which requires one. You are more likely to fly a compliant mission if you can quickly update or change your authorization to adapt to a new mission or change of plans, rather than proceeding without it.

Learn More About LAANC

LAANC is the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability program, designed to grant authorization for commercial and recreational drone pilots to operate in controlled airspace around the US. In most cases, LAANC transforms a process that took up to 90 days with one that often takes less than 90 seconds. This is because instead of filing a request with the FAA through their DroneZone online portal and waiting days or weeks for a response, the drone operator uses a web or mobile application that can grant an authorization in 1-2 minutes.

Kittyhawk strongly supports the LAANC program and its expansion to more airports around the country. LAANC represents a powerful way that the government and private industry work together using technology and data to enable next-generation aviation operations. Learn more about how Kittyhawk powers LAANC authorizations and LAANC-enabled operations at Kittyhawk’s LAANC page and the FAA’s LAANC page.