The shot list in my DroneBase dashboard is requesting assets from altitudes higher than I have the authorization to fly. What should I do?
Unless a mission explicitly states that the client is OK with waiting for manual authorization or a waiver, you should apply for the highest altitude that is available with automated authorization. Then adjust the shot list so that the higher shots are taken at the altitude you applied for. For example, in a 200 ft automated authorization zone, you would fly assets that were requested at 350 ft at 200 ft instead. Ideally, you should adjust shots rather than aborting them so we still have the number of assets the client requested.
How do I apply for LAANC?
Follow this page for a list of approved LAANC suppliers. Most of our pilots use AirMap and, if you accept a DroneBase mission in LAANC airspace, we will provide a link to the AirMap app with all of the necessary information (altitude/flight radius/etc.) filled out. (You must already have the AirMap app installed on your device.)
You should still scroll through the options to double check that everything is correct before submitting it. If you prefer another vendor then any of the others are acceptable. (Note: To apply for LAANC through AirMap, you must do so on the mobile app and have your AirMap profile completely filled out.)
When should I apply for LAANC authorization?
Immediately! Whether you are applying for manual or automated LAANC approval the sooner you apply the better. If you have a change of plans and need to change the authorization time/date you can always delete your current flight plan and apply again later. Getting authorization ahead of time will highlight any issues with the expected flight (such as differing altitude restrictions) so you aren't surprised when you get to the site.
What are the different authorization zones and what do they mean?
Automated Authorization - (Automated authorization available at or below X ft) - You may request and receive authorization to fly immediately as long as the request is at or below the maximum altitude. It does not have to be reviewed by an employee at the FAA. If you request authorization above the automated limit then it will be treated as a manual request.
Manual Authorization - (Manual authorization available at or below X ft or Automated authorization coming soon at or below X ft) - After your request, an employee must review and approve your authorization request. The time required to process the request can range from a few minutes to 30 days. Even after waiting a significant amount of time the request still may be rejected.
Non-LAANC Airspace - (Special use airspace, airports that are not LAANC enabled or Manual authorization coming soon) - Airspace authorization cannot be requested in this area. You must be granted special permission to fly in this airspace. You must request authorization directly from the FAA.
My automated authorization did not come through immediately. What can I do?
- Double check the settings on your authorization request to make sure that it is within the automated zone and within the automated altitude restrictions. If a mission site is overlapping another authorization zone (lower altitude or completely manual) then you may need to decrease the flight radius of your planned flight or decrease the requested altitude to accommodate the lower altitude LAANC zone.
- Make sure you have not requested or received any authorizations that overlap the time slot.
How do I maximize my chances of receiving LAANC authorization?
- You should apply for any authorization (manual or automated) immediately upon creating your flight plan. The sooner the better.
- For manual authorization, your requested flight date should be at least 72 hours out... the further out the better.
- Your requests for authorization cannot overlap in terms of time. (For example, you can't apply for authorization between 10 am - 2 pm and 12 pm - 4 pm on the same day.)
- More restrictive requests are more likely to be approved (lower altitude, smaller flight radius, smaller time window, etc.)
- You can request separate authorizations for the same site at multiple times/dates as long as they don’t overlap.
My requested date for manual authorization is approaching and I have not received approval. What do I do?
Manual LAANC requests are automatically rejected if approval is not granted within 24 hours of the scheduled flight.* If that window is approaching and you still have not received authorization then it's unlikely that it will be granted. The best option would be to retain your current request (as it technically possible it may still be approved) and submit additional requests for later dates and times. Make sure to inform our support team so we can reach out to the client and updated them about needing to reschedule the mission.
* AirMap cancels the request... Not the FAA. Other LAANC vendors may or may not cancel the request if it is not granted within 24 hours of the scheduled time.