Esri partners with Airspace Link to offer drone users access to US LAANC approval process

Intelligence company Esri has partnered with drone flight planning company Airspace Link to offer drone users to access the automated flight approval process in the US.

As a result of the partnership, Esri has released a new integration into its Site Scan for ArcGIS flight planner. The integration makes it possible for drone users to have insights into critical information relevant to the areas of their drone operations such as controlled airspace, special events, and no-fly-zones. This provides drone pilots with better situational awareness when planning automated drone flights. If a flight plan intersects with controlled airspace, users can submit a request to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within the Site Scan flight planner application by leveraging Airspace Link’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) authorization capability. This technological collaboration enables the FAA and industry organizations to safely integrate small drones into the US airspace.

Airspace Link is leveraging Esri’s ArcGIS Platform, the company’s platform as a service to manage the nation’s airspace data geospatially and deliver it to users. This up-to-date information is critical for commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) users to know whether a flight requires a waiver from the FAA or is within a temporary flight restriction area.

This new integration is available today in the latest update of Site Scan for ArcGIS Flight Planning App available for iPads in the Apple App Store.

“It is key that we provide our users with all the information necessary to fly UAS in the national airspace safely and legally,” said Richard Cooke, Esri director of imagery and remote sensing. “With this integration, they can now benefit from Site Scan’s best-in-class automated drone flight planning in controlled airspace around the US, while taking advantage of Airspace Link’s FAA-sanctioned authorization capabilities.”

“We’ve worked diligently to create authoritative products that make viewing and requesting airspace access simple,” said Michael Healander, CEO and co-founder of Airspace Link. “The new Site Scan integration that Esri built in partnership with us allows their drone pilot users to receive a broader operational awareness prior to take-off.”

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