Aloft announced today that they have added native LAANC integrations to their portfolio. The deep-linking integration is a significant new capability for the enterprise drone industry ecosystem. With these new APIs, Aloft is knocking down barriers to entry for the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) and more for developers and users of apps for the commercial drone industry.
LAANC was introduced in 2017, offering automation of a previously time-consuming paper process. With LAANC, drone operators were able to get authorizations quickly and conveniently through software apps provided by approved providers.
Aloft, formerly Kittyhawk, has been an approved service provider since 2018 and worked with the FAA to develop the free “Be4UFly” app for recreational pilots. (Aloft is not government funded, and commercialization of other products supports the free use of the Be4UFly app.) Aloft has become the leading provider of LAANC services in the country, powering more than 70% of requests in 2021.
For many providers of other enterprise drone applications, however, offering LAANC capabilities to their customers has proven difficult. LAANC service providers must go through an FAA approval process, which is only opened periodically. Pilots have been faced with clunky connections, sometimes having to exit the app they’re using and sign into a new system to get LAANC approvals. The tools announced today allow providers of enterprise drone applications without their own authority to offer LAANC services to offer a seamless experience to their customers, bringing Aloft’s LAANC, airspace, and fleet management capabilities natively into their own software. The “deep-linking” API’s mean that customers don’t have to sign on to more than one application to get automated, efficient authorizations.
In addition to taking advantage Aloft’s authority to be a LAANC provider, app developers leverage Aloft’s robust and certified security framework, an increasingly important aspect of commercial drone solutions.
“This solution allows other companies to leverage the cyber security posture that Aloft has achieved, without having to go through the same process,” explains Josh Zeiring, Aloft Founder and CTO. Zeiring says the APIs also serve as a concrete example of the developing Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) framework. “This is a phenomenal example of UTM as a ‘system of systems,’” he comments.
“Today, we are not just announcing new tools; we’re unveiling the future of programmatic aviation,” said Jon Hegranes, CEO & Founder of Aloft. “The aviation landscape is evolving rapidly, and unmanned aircraft systems are a fundamental part of that change. By providing developers with the tools to integrate seamlessly with the Aloft platform, we are enhancing the safety, compliance, and efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS).”