Blog

LAANC finally reaches Boston & the North East

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Throughout the year the FAA has been rolling out the Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability program (LAANC). LAANC is a collaboration between the government & private industry to facilitate the exchange of airspace data between the two parties. It provides almost instant airspace authorization near airports if flight is below approved altitudes.

What does this mean for the Boston area?

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Wave 5 is finally arriving in Boston & the North East August 16th 2018. Normally it would take up to 90 days to receive airspace authorization under FAA Part 107 Regulations. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is in class B airspace and extends out as far as Chestnut Hill in Newton.

Under LAANC our pilot can receive almost immediate authorization by using the AirMap app, as long as it falls below the approved altitude. Approved altitudes range from 50ft - 300ft depending on how close the flight path is to Logan Airport. If the flight path requires a higher elevation or closer proximity to the Airport, our pilot can apply for a manual waiver through the AirMap app. This approval process, according to AirMap, can take 2 days.

Do you have project that is within restricted airspace?

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If you have an intended flight path near Boston (or any airport participating in LAANC) and would like to check if it is eligible for LAANC you can check the AirMap app online and view an interactive map. You can also check on the FAA UAS Facilities Maps

We're excited to be working in this emerging industry and look forward to seeing more collaboration with the industry and the FAA. This allows our business to operate safely and efficiently.

If you're ready to work with us and want to test out the new LAANC program or if you have any questions contact us. We're ready to fly!

Autumn in Western Ma.

 View of North Adams

View of North Adams

When people think about Massachusetts they think of Historic Boston; Red bricked Federal-style rowhouses of Beacon Hill, Small gelaterias in the North End, confusing concrete tunnels of the Big Dig. Some may venture into the Metrowest suburbs where we call home. Office parks, strip malls, and historic downtown areas. 

But last fall Ed and I decided to drive west. Past Worcester, past Springfield, all the way west, to the city of North Adams via the Mohawk Trail. North Adams is a small city in Berkshire county that has developed a robust art community. We made a day trip out of it and of course, we took a drone and a camera. 

 

On the way, we made a stop in Sherbourne Falls, a picturesque village by the Deerfield River. I had heard about the glacial potholes on the river before, so I figured we'd go have a look. We walked on the flower bridge which was better than it sounds, we grabbed some coffee, met a cat, and got back on the road. 

This part of Massachusetts vastly differs from the suburbs we're both used to. There are long stretches where you won't see a single house for miles. Because of this, there are plenty of areas to fly the drone.

 

 Glacial potholes at Shelbourne Falls

Glacial potholes at Shelbourne Falls

We decided to stop in an area that had everything we were looking for. Beautiful leaves, big ol' mountains and a winding road. Our original plan was to capture some scenic views of the mountains covered in colorful fall foliage.  HOWEVER, we had a slight complication. Drones require regular updates to their firmware and software. And the newly installed software on our iPad pro needed us to log in, a standard procedure that would have been easy to achieve IF we had cellular service.

Because of the remote location, neither of us had a single bar (used to be dots) of LTE or 4G. This limits our drone to what is essentially a "beginners mode", which governs our altitude to a maximum of 75 feet. But we made the best of it. Ed was able to capture a decent photo of the mountains and leaves but no winding road. We also were able to test a polarizing filter. From the ground, I took some photos from of the river that runs along the road. Even now, I think about the image we could have captured. A great excuse to go back, I suppose. 

 Colorful Foliage at 75 ft.

Colorful Foliage at 75 ft.

As we approached North Adams we regained cell service and were able to fix our software problems. We hiked up a trail that overlooks North Adams and is just outside the 5-mile radius of the airport. We found a spot that was a perfect launch point and were able to capture some great images of North Adams with Mt. Greylock in the background. 

We drove down to the city, had some gyros and visited MassMoCA,  a massive contemporary art museum housed in old mill buildings. It was a great road trip and we hope to return.

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