FAA Gives DJI Power to Authorizes Flights in Controlled Airspace

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Remember drones 8 years ago? Everyone thought, "hey, look at that, you've got a little remote controlled flying helicopter-thingy with a camera on it." Then as in most things in life, the fun helicopter-thingy was ruined by idiots. 

As drones became more affordable their sales went up and so did the drones. Right up in the air over cities, neighborhoods... and flight patterns. Once the threat of drone safety became real, the FAA stepped in and made it so you can't really fly one in any metropolitan area without a permit, a permit that could take months to get. 

The biggest danger are drones flying near commercial airplanes. An errant drone pilot could accidentally fly too low to a plane taking off or landing and get the drone sucked through one of the engines, damaging the plane or worse, causing it to crash. These tiny little marvels of technology can be super dangerous, but it doesn't mean that they should never be used. They should just be used with every precaution taken. 

Today, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that after rigorous testing, DJI has been approved to offer Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) to professional drone pilots in controlled airspace or near airports. 

Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs states:

"DJI has always led the industry in helping open America's skies for productive small drone flights while keeping safety as the top priority, and offering LAANC capability to our customers is another example of our dedication to meeting their needs... The LAANC system is a testament to the FAA's global leadership in integrating drones into the airspace safely and efficiently, including in areas that are close to airports, using a technology solution that reflects the fast-paced development of the drone industry."

This is a big deal, but also one that could have a bigger ripple in other sectors. It's kind of like the FAA saying, we don't have the resources to monitor and control all of these flights and if you want to do it, then you can pay for it and be held responsible.

It's also more about speed. Before the LAANC was launched it would take months of applications and waiting for a permit, as let's face it, drone flights are not really a priority to the FAA. This new system makes the LAANC able to authorize a flight presumably as early as the same day it's requested. 

If you're a professional drone pilot or you need to hire one for a client, this is great news. 


PRESS RELEASE

October 1, 2018 - DJI, the world's leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, has been approved to offer Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) services for professional drone pilots. After a rigorous test and validation of DJI's technology capabilities, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday announced its approval of DJI as a UAS Service Supplier, allowing DJI to offer its customers near-real-time authorization to fly in controlled airspace near airports.

"DJI has always led the industry in helping open America's skies for productive small drone flights while keeping safety as the top priority, and offering LAANC capability to our customers is another example of our dedication to meeting their needs," said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs. "The LAANC system is a testament to the FAA's global leadership in integrating drones into the airspace safely and efficiently, including in areas that are close to airports, using a technology solution that reflects the fast-paced development of the drone industry."

The FAA established LAANC this year to help professional drone pilots operate within controlled airspace at approximately 500 airports where commercial drone flights are generally prohibited without authorization. LAANC designates locations within that airspace that can be used safely up to approved altitudes, and monitors temporary flight restrictions and other limits that could affect flights there. Pilots can use LAANC to review those limits, plan flights and file applications. LAANC processes those applications instantly and provides information about those flights to FAA Air Traffic, improving situational awareness and enhancing aviation safety. 

"Before LAANC, using drones for productive work near many airports required detailed applications and up to months of waiting, even when the benefits were clear and safety was prioritized. Now, LAANC allows easy drone use in more than 2,000 square miles near airports, including many populated areas that can benefit tremendously from drone operations," said Brandon Montellato, DJI Program Manager - Enterprise Solutions. "More than 100,000 Part 107-certified drone pilots will now be able to perform valuable work - from inspections and surveys to filming and photography - with near-instant approval."

DJI's approval as a UAS Service Supplier is just the latest example of how DJI collaborates with the FAA and other national aviation authorities around the world to enhance and improve safety while integrating drones into the airspace. Last year, DJI worked with the FAA to develop a mandatory DJI Knowledge Quiz that pilots must pass before taking their first flights with DJI drones, and has expanded the program to the United Kingdom and Australia as well. DJI also served on the FAA's Remote Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee to provide expertise on security and safety solutions.

As a UAS Service Supplier, DJI now has the ability to allow enterprise customers and other professional users to use their DJI accounts to seamlessly apply for LAANC approvals while planning their flights. Further details on LAANC integration into DJI's product ecosystem will be announced in due course.

 
For additional information, please contact: 
Adam Lisberg, DJI Corporate Communication Director - adam.lisberg@dji.com
 
 
About DJI
DJI, the world's leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight-control technology and camera stabilization. The company is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking equipment and platforms more accessible, reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world. DJI's global operations currently span across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries for applications in filmmaking, construction, inspection, emergency response, agriculture, conservation and many other industries.
 
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