Airspace Authorizations for Recreational Flyers

As a recreational flyer you can fly in controlled airspace if you have an airspace authorization from the FAA prior to flight through LAANC  or the FAA’s Drone Zone.

In LAANC enabled areas authorizations are provided to drone pilots through companies approved by the FAA. These companies are known as FAA-Approved UAS Service Suppliers (FAA LAANC USSs). The companies have built desktop and mobile applications through which drone pilots submit their authorization request and receive other safety critical information related to their flight.

The companies provide near-real time airspace authorizations at pre-approved altitudes on the UAS Facility Maps. Choose the company that works best for you – they all provide information about the maximum altitude you can fly in a specific location and whether or not your flight is in controlled or uncontrolled airspace. 

Follow these steps to get approval to fly through LAANC:

  • Register your drone
  • Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST).
  • Apply on the date you wish to fly (requests may be submitted up to 90 days in advance of your planned flight).
  • Select the exact time, altitude and location where you wish to fly.
    • Make sure you select to fly at or below the altitude defined by the UAS Facility Maps (this will show up automatically in your LAANC provide app).

FAA Drone Zone

Drone Zone provides authorizations for airports that are not LAANC-enabled, however it does not provide authorizations in near-real time. All requests are processed manually at the FAA Air Traffic Service Centers. Only apply for authorization at or below approved altitudes on the UAS Facility Maps.

Airspace Authorization through FAA Drone Zone:

  • Log into the FAA Drone Zone under The Exception for Recreational Flyers.
  • Select "Airspace Authorization".
  • Fill in the required fields:
    • Review and submit your information to the FAA.
  • Upon submission you will receive a reference number for your application.
  • You may check you application status anytime by logging back into the FAADroneZone.
  • If you have questions while filling out the request, contact the UAS Support Center.

Last updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2023