FAA LAANC Timeline

LAANC – Finally a Quicker Way to Obtain FAA Authorization to Fly Near Airports

LAANC (pronounced “lance”) is not a new term as it has been in the planning stages during the Fall of 2017, but what is new is that the FAA has posted a timeline for LAANC rollout to all “participating” airports throughout the US.  LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability System) rollout will occur over the next approximately 6 months and include as many as about 500 airports, which we will list as LAANC begins in their area.

During the prototype and planning stages, there have been a limited number of airports participating, allowing the FAA to gauge usefulness and adopt appropriate procedures for LAANC implementation.  Below is the list of the prototype airports, thus airports currently offering LAANC approvals:

ABR  Aberdeen Regional  (Aberdeen, SD)
ANC  Ted Stevens Anchorage International (Anchorage, AK)
ATY  Watertown Regional (Watertown, NY)
AXN  Chandler Field (Alexandria, MN)
BJI  Bemidji Regional (Bemidji, MN)
BKX  Brookings Regional (Brookings, SD)
BRD  Brainerd Lakes Regional (Brainerd, MN)
CMX  Houghton County Memorial (Hancock, MI)
CVG  Cinicinnati/Northern Kentucky International (Covington, KY)
DIK  Dickinson – Theodore Roosevelt Regional (Dickinson, ND)
DVL  Devils Lake Regional (Devils Lake, ND)
EAR  Kearney Regional (Kearney, NE)
ELO  Ely Municipal (Ely, MN)
ESC  Delta County (Escanaba, MI)
FFM  Fergus Falls Municipal – Einar Mickelson Field (Fergus Falls, MN)
FOD  Fort Dodge Regional (Fort Dodge, IA)
FRM  Fairmont Municipal (Fairmont, MN)
GPZ  Grand Rapids/Itasca County – Gordon Newsroom Field (Grand Rapids, MN)
HON  Huron Regional (Huron, SD)
HSI  Hastings Municipal (Hastings, NE)
IMT  Ford (Iron Mountain Kingsford, MI)
IWD  Gogebic – Iron County (Ironwood, MI)
JMS  Jamestown Regional (Jamestown, ND)
LHD  Lake Hood (Anchorage, AK)
LNK  Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)
MCW  Mason County Municipal E (Mason City, IA)
MHE  Mitchell Municipal (Mitchell, SD)
MIA  Miami International (Miami, FL)
MKT  Mankato Regional (Mankato, MN)
MRI  Merrill Field (Anchorage, AK)
OFK  Norfolk Regional/Karl Stefan Memorial Field (Norfolk, NE)
OLU  Columbus Municipal (Columbus, NE)
OSC  Oscoda-Wurtsmith (Oscoda, MI)
OTG  Worthington Municipal (Worthington, MN)
PHX  Phoenix Sky Harbor International (Phoenix, AZ)
PIR  Pierre Regional (Pierre, SD)
PLN  Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County (Pellston, MI)
RHI  Rhinelander – Oneida County (Rhinelander, WI)
RNO  Reno/Tahoe International (Reno, NV)
RWF  Redwood Falls Municipal (Redwood Falls, MN)
SJC  Norman Y Mineta San Jose International (San Jose, CA)
SLB  Storm Lake Municipal (Storm Lake, IA)
SPW  Spencer Municipal (Spencer, IA)
TVF  Thief River Falls Regional (Thief River Falls, MN)
YKN  Chan Gurney Municipal (Yankton, SD)

Of course, this list is not “official”, but you can access the FAA’s list of airports currently offering LAANC approvals on the FAA’s official LAANC list page.

With the FAA’s announcement of their LAANC rollout timeline, they break the US down into six waves, based primarily on Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) from the looks of it, though they title the waves (in order of start dates) South Central, Western North, Western South, Eastern South, Eastern North, and finally Central North.

Here are the ATC sectors included in each wave, along with estimated start dates according to the FAA timeline:

1. South Central (April 30, 2018)

Houston ARTCC (ZHU)
Kansas City ARTCC (ZKC)
Ft. Worth ARTCC (ZFW)
Albuquerque ARTCC (ZAB)

2. Western North (May 24, 2018)

Anchorage ARTCC (ZAN)
Denver ARTCC (ZDV)
Seattle ARTCC (ZSE)
Salt Lake ARTCC (ZLC)

3.  Western South (June 21, 2018)

Los Angeles ARTCC (ZLA)
Oakland ARTCC (ZOA)
Honolulu ARTCC

4.  Eastern South (July 19, 2018)

Jacksonville ARTCC (ZJX)
Memphis ARTCC (ZME)
San Juan ARTCC (ZSU)
Atlanta ARTCC (ZTL)

5.  Eastern North (August 16, 2018)

Boston ARTCC (ZBW)
Washington ARTCC (ZDC)
New York ARTCC (ZNY)

6.  Central North (September 13, 2018)

Indianapolis ARTCC (ZID)
Cleveland ARTCC (ZOB)
Chicago ARTCC (ZAU)
Minneapolis ARTCC (ZMP)

If you are not familiar with the various ARTCC facilities, particularly the ones you in the areas of your expected operations, we highly recommend you do that now.  If your intended airport falls under a specific ARTCC sector, LAANC implementation does not guarantee your airport has chosen to participate.  As each of the six waves goes live, we will list LAANC participating airports under each ARTCC sector, keeping in mind the best list to check if you airport participates and is currently offering LAANC is via the FAA’s current LAANC list page.

And here is a map of rollout waves from the FAA website highlighting ARTCC sectors in each wave…

LAANC Airspace Rollout Timeline

About The Author

Drone Master
Owner and developer of Drone Mastery. Some background to knowledge: FAA Licensed Remote Pilot (FAR 107) FAA Licensed Airline Transport Pilot Type Ratings Held: B777, B767, B757, B737, BA-4100, BA-3100 CFI/CFII and working on MEI

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