Automated airspace approval has been a game changer for commercial pilots in the U.S., through the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). The digital transformation of a slow and manual process means that drone pilots can get the authorization required within minutes rather than, in some cases, weeks. Now, Australian airspace authorities CASA have announced that automated airspace approval will be offered through approved third party providers beginning in the autumn of 2021.
Wing, who invested early on in collaborating on UTM, drone delivery and advanced operations with Australian authorities, will be one of the first three CASA approved providers through their OpenSky App. A Wing blog post explains Australia’s UTM model:
Australia is a worldwide leader in drone integration and the development of unmanned traffic management (UTM) capabilities. The country has an innovative UTM model in place that allows multiple providers of drone traffic services to exist in the same ecosystem. Powered by open-source technologies, this ecosystem allows the real-time sharing of key airspace information with multiple, CASA-approved third party providers.
OpenSky already offers airspace intelligence, including innovative data like fire and national park advisories. Drone operations around Australia’s busiest airpots, however, still present a major challenge for drone operators who have experienced an approval process that can typically take 30 days to complete – a time frame which can cost a commercial provider lucrative work.
Automated airspace authorizations are a game-changer for drone pilots. Which is why today, Wing is pleased to support CASA as they implement the launch of automated access to controlled airspace through CASA’s verified drone safety apps, including Wing’s OpenSky app. Drone operators can now automatically request authorisation to fly in controlled airspace like airports and around major cities. The ability to obtain real-time, almost instantaneous authorisation to fly in controlled airspace means that certified drone pilots are able to get up and flying faster and take on more jobs.
Australia’s Automated Approval program will start with 3 approved providers, and will be enabled initially around three select airports to be announced. Australian drone pilots can sign up today to see if they are eligible for the OpenSky Automated Approval Beta.