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What is LAANC?

LAANC or L.A.A.N.C. is the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability provided by the FAA. It allows commercial and recreational drone pilots the ability to request airspace authorization to fly at designated altitudes in controlled airspace near airports in the United States. You can check the FAA’s website for airports covered by LAANC.

Altitude Angel is approved by the FAA as a UAS Service Supplier. This means users of Altitude Angel’s low-altitude airspace map, DroneSafetyMap.com, can request LAANC approval for drone flights directly through the platform.

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If you’d like to integrate DroneSafetyMap.com into your app or website (with full LAANC authorization capability) - be sure to get in touch today.

Altitude Angel also offers a range of APIs and Services for developers and innovators in aviation. Visit our Developer Portal to find out more.

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How to request LAANC authorization in less than 2 minutes

Getting approval from the FAA to fly in controlled airspace couldn’t be easier. With DroneSafetyMap.com you can gain approval to fly in less than 2 minutes.

It’s always important to plan your flight ahead of time. DroneSafetyMap.com makes this entire process as easy as possible and completely free of charge.

Step 1. Locate the area you wish to fly in

The first step to flying a drone is to identify the place you want to fly. In this instance, a drone flight is going to be requested on Newport Beach, specifically the area around Balboa Peninsula Park and Balboa Pier. Search for ‘Newport Beach, CA’ in the location search bar of DroneSafetyMap.com.

Step 1. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 2. Check your airspace

Find out whether the airspace you wish to fly in is covered by FAA’s UAS Facility Map. You can do this by selecting the filter icon from the search bar and selecting the ‘FAA UAS Facility Map’ toggle from the filter menu.

Balboa Peninsula Park is right on the edge of John Wayne Airport’s Controlled Airspace, and therefore requires LAANC authorization from the FAA to fly.

Step 2. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 3. Observe any restrictions

Select one of the grids which covers the area you wish to fly your drone. This will tell you whether there are any altitude restrictions for this airspace. In the example below, you’ll see there is a restriction of 50 feet. This means a drone must fly under 50 feet within this area. Remember this restriction when submitting your flight report.

Step 3. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 4. Login or create an Altitude Angel account

Select the menu icon from the search bar and scroll to the bottom to logon to your Altitude Angel account. You will be unable to create a flight report without an account, so if you have not made one, you can do so by selecting the ‘Create one’ option in the logon screen.

Step 4. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 5. Submit a flight report

Once you’ve gained an understanding of the restrictions in the airspace you’re planning to fly in and you’ve logged into your Altitude Angel account, select ‘Submit a flight report’ from the side menu.

Step 5. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 6. Enter your flight area, duration and classification

Select the ‘Select area’ button to begin outlining your flight area. Unlike other providers, DroneSafetyMap.com can process cross-grid LAANC authorization and flight reports that extend outside LAANC controlled airspace.

In the example below, the flight area has extended across a FAA UAS Facility grid with a restriction of 50 feet, a FAA UAS Facility grid with a restriction of 100 feet, and Class C airspace.

Once you’ve drawn your flight area, set your operation date, specify whether this is a Commercial (Part 107) or Recreational (USC44809) flight. Then state a total duration and max flight altitude. When you’re happy with your plan, select ‘Proceed’.

Step 6. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 7. Review flight authorization conditions

Once you select ‘Proceed’ you’ll see details of the FAA authorization required for the flight area you have outlined, including the maximum altitude permitted of the airspace you’re planning to fly your drone in. You’ll also see whether the flight is eligible for ‘LAANC Automatic Approval’ or if LAANC Approval is required at all. If your flight occurs outside of daylight hours, it will not be possible to gain LAANC approval. If you’ve reviewed the details and your flight is permitted, select ‘Next’ to proceed.

Step 7. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 8. Provide specific flight and pilot details

Whether you’re submitting a flight report for yourself or on behalf of a company, the pilot is the individual responsible for controlling the drone at the time of operation. Their details must be entered into the ‘Flight Details’ section. This individual must maintain visual line of sight (VLOS) with the drone at all times of operation and be reachable by the phone number provided before and during the flight. Within this section, you can also opt-in to receiving SMS updates. When you’re happy the details here are accurate select ‘Next’.

Step 8. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 9. Confirm summary and await approval

A summary page will appear with all the details of your flight. These are the details that will be sent to the FAA for approval. Agree to the conditions stated on the in the ‘Notification of Intended Use’ section in the Flight Report side bar and select ‘submit’.

Step 9. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 10. Review your flight details

Once your flight is approved, you can manage and view your flight in the side bar under ‘View my flight reports’. Your flight report will also be visible for all other users of DroneSafetyMap.com. Be sure to come back to DroneSafetyMap.com on the day of your flight to ensure there are no additional NOTAMs or airspace restrictions in effect that may prevent you from flying.

Step 10. LAANC Approval in DroneSafetyMap.com

Step 11. Get flying!

Once your flight is authorized you’re free to fly your drone at the time specified in the flight report.

Remember to always be aware of other airspace users and the general public.

#FlySafe #FlyAltitudeAngel

REMINDER: Once your flight is completed, we encourage pilots to report any incidents through our online Incident Reporting Form. This anonymous web portal gives commercial and recreational drone pilots the ability to share their experiences with other drone operators and the wider community, with a goal to learn from mistakes and grow the industry as a whole.

Guide to LAANC approvals

Part 107 Near – Real Time Authorization

Automated (instant) approval (or denial) of commercial operations in LAANC enabled facilities (airports). E.g. a commercial operation request that is at or below the intersecting grid(s) altitude limit set by the facility.

Part 107 Further Coordination

Manual approval/denial of commercial operations in LAANC enabled facilities. E.g. a commercial operation request that is above the altitude limit set by the facility and below 400ft.

Exception for Recreational Flying/Section 44809

Automated (instant) approval (or denial) of recreational operations in LAANC enabled facilities. Further coordination is not available. E.g. a recreational operation request that is at or below the intersecting grid(s) altitude limit set by the facility.