DJI has welcomed the news that recreational drone pilots in the United States can now obtain near-instant authorization from the FAA.
It will allow the operators to fly in controlled airspace near approximately 600 airports.
It opens up an estimated 2,000 square miles of airspace to safe and responsible recreational drone pilots, just as such authorisations were first made available to professional drone pilots last year.
Recent changes in the law require recreational drone pilots to obtain authorization to fly in controlled airspace, replacing the prior requirement of notifying nearby airports.
The FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system identifies locations in controlled airspace where drone operations are considered so safe that approvals can be granted automatically below specified altitudes.
Brendan Schulman, DJI vice president of Policy and Legal Affairs, commented: “Drones have earned an admirable safety record around the world, and the FAA has recognized that they may be operated safely in certain areas near airports by both professional and recreational operators.”
Adding: “Opening the LAANC system to recreational drone pilots is an important step in the FAA’s efforts to safely integrate drones into American skies by providing innovative solutions to regulatory requirements.”
DJI went on to detail how it recommends recreational drone pilots obtain LAANC authorizations through Kittyhawk, a drone operations platform with a strong commitment to safety.
Kittyhawk will offer LAANC service to recreational pilots for free, to help encourage hobbyists to do more with drone technology and consider professional and career opportunities with drones.
Josh Ziering, Kittyhawk founder, said: “The American drone industry needs a strong supply of drone innovators, entrepreneurs and hands-on pilots to continue its rapid growth.”
He continued: “Drones are helping businesses, nonprofits, governments and researchers do their work better, faster, safer and cheaper, and accelerating those benefits requires a steady pipeline of talented drone enthusiasts who turn their recreational curiosity into a profession. Giving recreational drone pilots a free and easy way to access the nation’s controlled airspace is a way to help ensure America achieves all the benefits that drones can offer.”