In June the state of California became a part of the Low Altitude and Notification Capability (LAANC), a new program offered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist UAS/drone operators with obtaining airspace authorizations for commercial flying.
Prior to LAANC, airspace authorization approvals took up between 90-120 days. Now, in many circumstances, the authorizations can be approved in minutes.
The FAA has currently authorized 14 companies to provide LAANC services. A list of them as well as more detailed information can be found at https://www.faa.gov/uas/programs_partnerships/uas_data_exchange
Some popular filming locations that will require airspace authorization include but at not limited to:
- Portions of Griffith Park (including the Hollywood Sign)
- Most of West Los Angeles
- Large portions of the San Fernando Valley
There are some areas where the automated authorization will not work and the traditional 90-120 day process would still be required. These include but are not limited to:
- Marina Del Rey
- Woodley Park
- Playa Vista
The FAA has advised FilmL.A. that verbal/written approvals from local airports are not appropriate authorizations and UAS operators will need to go through the process relative to the airspace they wish to occupy.
For questions about airspace authorizations or for answers to general production related questions, please contact FilmL.A.’s Production Planning team at 213-977-8600.