Airspace to open for insurers in the southeast

Now insurers can capitalize on new technology in previously challenging areas

Airspace to open for insurers in the southeast


By Bethan Moorcraft

Wave four of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) beta test is set to launch in Southeastern USA on Thursday, July 19, benefitting drone pilots who want to fly in controlled airspace.

LAANC enables drone pilots to receive near instant authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly a small drone under 400 feet in controlled airspace around airports. Drone operators can process an application for airspace authorization within minutes through a number of apps. Before the LAANC program, drone pilots sometimes had to wait up to 90 days for an application to be processed by the FAA, which stilted drone use in emergency or time-sensitive operations.

The new program allows insurance companies to leverage the efficiencies of drone technology in previously challenging areas. Global drone operations company, DroneBase has pilots in all 50 states completing commercial drone missions for enterprise clients across various industries, including insurance. The firm’s co-founder and CEO, Dan Burton, says LAANC has made a huge difference in DroneBase pilots’ abilities to reach almost any address to settle insurance claims quickly, rather than waiting 90 days for clearance. 

“LAANC has already benefited industries from insurance to real estate to construction to telecom by allowing drone pilots easier and nearly instant access to almost any address in the US,” he said. “In the four regions LAANC has already been implemented, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of US addresses we’ve been able to reach. We’re looking forward to the day when LAANC is rolled out to the entire US and businesses of any size can leverage drone technology quickly, reliably, and affordably.”

Phase four of the LAANC roll-out covers the southeastern region, including Florida, the Carolinas, Tennessee and more. So far, waves one, two and three have covered south central USA, northwestern and southwestern regions. The final two phases will be northeastern USA (August 16) and north central USA on September 13. So far, the roll-out has generated a positive response from pilots.

“Before LAANC, I had to turn down professional missions near my neighborhood because there’s a local airport, and you can’t fly within five miles of its vicinity without prior approval. I had tried to get approval, but the process was difficult,” noted Andrew Weissman, a DroneBase pilot located in Centennial, Colorado. “Ever since LAANC was implemented at the airport, it’s been awesome. It’s so easy now. I’ve accepted four missions near the airport, and it takes just a few minutes to get approved.”

Christopher Durham, another DroneBase pilot located in Scottsdale, Arizona, added: “LAANC has really streamlined my availability to get work as I’m able to market my ability to easily gain access, compared to formally submitting requests months in advance. I’ve used it on multiple jobs through DroneBase. It allowed me to fluidly get access to the site without making phone calls. It’s definitely a great step in the right direction for the drone market.”


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