Skyward to give commercial UAS operators instant access to controlled airspace with LAANC
Skyward, which is a Verizon company, has received approval to give commercial UAS operators instant access to controlled airspace with the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) services from the FAA.
Airspace that previously required the submission of a manual request for authorization will now be accessible for businesses through the LAANC. The approval process will be automated, which will significantly reduce the wait time from months to seconds.
“Based on customer feedback, we know most of their jobs are in controlled airspace and getting access to fly in these areas is one of their largest business pain points,” says Mariah Scott, Co-President of Skyward.
“Operators have had to wait 60-90 days to receive authorization under the existing system. Now, with Skyward and LAANC, enterprises can get approval to fly in just two clicks. With this hurdle gone, we can expect to see substantial adoption of drone technology at the enterprise level.”
This fall, the program will launch at several locations, including Cincinnati International Airport (CVG), Reno (RNO), San Jose (SJC), and Lincoln (LNK).
Skyward, which is one of 12 members of the LAANC working group, helped to develop this capability as an “essential method to help serve more customers in new areas efficiently and safely.”
Earl Lawrence, director of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s UAS Integration Office, addressed the automation of the LAANC procress at a UAS conference held by the International Civil Aviation Organization last month. It’s the “first concrete step in fielding a UTM [unmanned traffic management] system,” he said.