Update: according to FAADroneZone's official Twitter account, LAANC is back up as of 8:09 PM EST. The FAA is still investigating the cause of the outage.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), a free service, to automate approvals, in real-time, for both commercial and recreational drone pilots looking to operate in controlled airspace. The program started out as a prototype in 2017 and subsequently became available on top airspace management apps including Aloft (formerly Kittyhawk), UASidekick, Airmap, and the FAA's own B4UFly. This is the first time LAANC has been down and unavailable.

DroneDJ first reported the service was temporarily down almost 24 hours ago, as of this writing. Quite frankly, we believed the issue would be resolved by now. Since launching in beta, over 320,000 LAANC approvals have been granted according to data shared by Aloft last year. More than one-third of those requests were made in the first six months of 2020, especially during the start of the pandemic.

LAANC is a critical service for Air Traffic Controllers as well. Having awareness of where and when drones are in their airspace is crucial for safety in regards to both manned and unmanned aircraft. While there still isn't any word from the FAA on when the service will be up again, Aloft has continued to reach out to the government agency for updates and is posting them here.

For now, those looking to acquire LAANC authorization will need to visit the FAADroneZone portal.