In case you missed it, Airmap, the world’s leading airspace management platform for drones, recently announced Betterview’s mobile app integration of its new digital airspace authorization system for drone flights in U.S. controlled airspace.

Through this partnership, Betterview users will now be able to get digital airspace authorizations at U.S. airports participating in the FAA Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program. This means that the long waits for authorizations to fly a drone commercially near an airport is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Recently several of our customers have asked us what the FAA Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program is, and more importantly, its impact on drone-based inspections of buildings and properties for P&C insurers. Below, we have provided some clarification.

So What Exactly is the FAA Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program?
LAANC is a program that allows drone operators to apply for digital authorization to fly in controlled airspace at participating U.S. airports. Before LAANC, drone pilots would have to manually apply for FAA waivers (in some instances approval could take up to 90 days) to fly within restricted airspace by U.S. airports.

With LAANC, drone flights can be now authorized within seconds at certain altitudes, opening up thousands of miles of controlled airspace for drones.

What is the Importance of LAANC to P&C Insurers?
After hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas and Florida, there were many properties that suffered wind and water damage within close proximity to airports. Unfortunately, the airspace above these properties fell into restricted airspace. In order to document these claims for our customers, we had to manually apply for FAA waivers.

While the FAA’s staff was very responsive and helpful in providing these authorizations (usually within 24 hours), each waiver had to be applied for manually. By integrating AirMap’s LAANC deep linking feature into our mobile application, we now have the ability to get FAA approval to fly at certain altitudes in a matter of seconds in some cases

Benefits of LAANC Integration for P&C Insurers

  • Improved claims processing via faster determinations on full vs. partial losses
  • Enhanced underwriting by putting up-to-date roof and measurement data at an underwriter’s fingertips
  • Streamlined catastrophe operations by providing staff with FAA approval out in the field

Coverage
Currently, LAANC is now available at six FAA facilities representing 46 airports. Beginning in April 2018, the FAA plans to expand the LAANC prototype into a national beta. By the end of the year, more than 500 towered airports across the country will begin offering LAANC authorization.

Questions?
We hope this blog post shed some light into the importance of LAANC and what it means for P&C insurers.  If you would like to learn more about our mobile app, software or services, send Paul Ptashnick a note at paul@betterview.net