Well, here’s a switch. The FAA will hit its ‘summer’ target for LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) according to one of its most recent webinars on ‘Flying Your Drone Recreationally,’ and it’s up on the FAA website. July 23 is the expected date for the system to launch.
What does it mean for recreational drone pilots? For one, more airspace will be open to you. The FAA is promising near real-time authorizations for flights in controlled airspace.
Earlier in the summer, the FAA prohibited air control towers from being contacted or granting clearance for amateur pilots. At the time, the promise of LAANC for hobbyists was summer. Now, its less than a month.
There are a few caveats to the new system. UAS Facility Maps still restrict hobbyist flights. Those wanting to fly outside the UASFM limits will still need a Part 107 license. Also, while the release says July 23, it’s better to expect some growing pains.
One benefit of the system is clarity for fans of camera drones. It’s what the industry desperately needs, and I’d expect the market to start heating back up as the regulations come online and we have definitive guidelines as pilots.
Head over to the FAA website for more details on what LAANC does and how it will impact recreational drone pilots. Also, those who have registered their drones should receive emails about upcoming FAA webinars. It may not be the most entertaining webinar you’ve ever watched, but at least they aren’t trying to sell you some random product. Watch it below.