FAA Facility Maps - Continuous Updates and Authorization Capability

July 4, 2017

(This post is in US-English)

Back in May, we added FAA Facility Maps data to our online maps and to our APIs. There are now some 327 airports (comprised of 47,246 grid squares) in the FAA Facility Map data, all automatically updated in Altitude Angel for your benefit. The Facility Maps are a great way to prepare your online authorization request if you are a Part 107 drone pilot.

Why is this important?

If you’re a drone pilot in the U.S. and plan to fly your drone commercially within controlled airspace, you’d need to apply for a waiver to do so under the FAA’s Part 107 rules. This process is manual and can take up to – and including – 90 days. If you use the FAA Facility Map data before requesting a waiver from the FAA while adjusting your intended flight plans accordingly, you’re likely to reduce the amount of time it takes for the waiver to come through. That’s why it’s important that this data is updated regularly and easy to consume.

The FAA’s vision for this process is to move to a more automated authorization system through its LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability) project. This open system promises to enable Third Party Providers the ability to deliver these authorizations on your behalf more expediently – perhaps even instantly.

What’s the future of digital authorizations and permissions?

Altitude Angel is working with a number of organizations around the world to deliver a single, consolidated platform through which drone operators, developers and manufacturers can easily manage their authorizations centrally. For the US, this would mean connecting automatically with the LAANC system when it is operational and managing your authorizations. Elsewhere, other projects are unfolding which will enable similar processes to occur. Our goal is to provide a standardized interface for this to occur.

What can you do today?

Within the Altitude Angel platform, it’s possible to file flight reports already; in fact, we receive about 16,000 of them every month just within Europe. As digital authorizations for flight reporting evolves, we’ll automatically request any necessary waivers or permissions on your behalf, wherever you are.

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