So, You’ve Decided You Want To Be A LAANC Service Provider?

You couldn’t make it on the DaaS® business model, and you’ve made the determination it is time to pivot into one of the big-bucks verticals—aka the LAANC gravy train! Many are asking, “What is involved and how do I get started?” That is the eighty-two billion dollar question everyone is asking.  We here at the sUAS News believe in community service and education, so we are inclined to provide the stakeholder and end-user with some insights on the airspace integration street theatre.

I would suggest moving posthaste as the nomenclature and mandated gravy train are transitioning to UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management). Don’t get too hung up on that exact nomenclature, as it is changing while we speak. There is a push to go Universal Traffic Management, and that will include drones, flying cars, GA, and UFO. Is it any more than wishful thinking to call LAANC Traffic (or tracking) Management? To some, the scenario is on par with making dinner reservations at a restaurant on a busy night. Did they make it on time, where did they sit, and/or did they make it at all? It made way more sense to call the tower, so they knew what was really going on, but it made no cents for the folks in the tower since they didn’t get paid for services rendered.

The GUTMA association has no agreed-upon standards or a plan for harmonization, not to mention certification and/or system integration. But that isn’t going to slow them down on titles or laws the U.S. Congress makes. These changes may have been inspired by some of the altruistic language injected by lobbyists into the FAA reauthorization, which mention folks getting paid for their UTM services. The LAANC service providers have by-in-large been just selflessly giving it away.

I know that pointing out reality is seen by the community as a bring down, but I think we should consider delivering a little more than grandiose titles as examples of tangible progress. It is only a suggestion and not meant to get folks thinking that drone package delivery isn’t happening in 2018; I am all in!  Anyway, some of the PowerPoint slides, diagrams, sizzle videos (who doesn’t love lens flare?), and the exuberance of the new hires is admittedly infectious and must be very exciting for those of us who have not been inoculated against unbridled glee by years at the regulatory grind.

The good lord only knows how many nomenclature/terminology/capability evolutions and blood squeezing from the lucrative aerial photography market turnip we will go through before we are all living that Jetsonian lifestyle.   

Linked here is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), between the FAA and Skyward Inc. The keys to the kingdom are right here in plain English. Not to give anyone any false hope; you may require the services of lobbyists to come in for the big UTM score. Some are better than others, and if needed I can make recommendations.     

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