Requesting ATC Authorization Via LAANC
What is LAANC?
LAANC stands for Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability. It is the modern method in which ATC authorizes sUAS flight operations in controlled airspace. In airports where LAANC is available the FAA has established UAS facility maps made up with grids of 1/2-mile square areas. Contained in the center of each grid area is a number showing the ceiling elevation available for automatic authorization.
All Part 107 and recreational drone operators require FAA LAANC authorization before an operation can take place in controlled airspace.
There is an app for LAANC
The FAA works in conjunction with third-party providers to deliver LAANC services. That means the FAA does not have their own app or website for LAANC requests but rather relies on private industry (providers) to develop those resources.
The technology has only been around a few years so those providers have come and gone or changed how their service is delivered. Until now I have been using Aloft for LAANC requests, which is changing to a new app called Flight Control that still seems a bit buggy. It is a good place to start but you might want to find your own app that you like.
How to make LAANC requests
The basics of making a LAANC request consist of providing a name, start time and duration of the operation, the pilot in command, and the area you intend to fly (by making a sketch in the following example). After submitting the request you will generally get instant notification whether it was successful.