UASidekick is pleased to announce that LAANC functionality is now live and fully operational. The ability for remote pilots to quickly and easily file controlled airspace authorizations that can be granted nearly instantaneously is a game changer for the UAS industry. Taking a process that previously took in excess of 90 days to complete and condensing it into less than a minute is a true testament to the potential that machine-to-machine data exchange can provide. UASidekick is honored to be on the forefront of this evolution.
Rest assured that the same easy-touch navigation, mobile (iOS/Android), and fast solution that we provide to file NOTAMs and UOAs has been maintained with the LAANC interface. We built this application primarily for commercial pilots and public safety organizations so we’ve streamlined the filing process to make it quick and uncluttered – we assume that the user is a professional and does not need educating regarding how high they can fly or how fast they can go, so you won’t see multiple screens detailing that type of information. What you will see is interactive airspace information that dramatically improves situational awareness. For example, touching on an airport will provide you operational details, CTAFs, as well as one-touch dialing to the airport manager; touching on an airspace will provide a similar level of granularity so you understand what you are dealing with without having to go dig up a sectional. We want UASidekick to be a digital co-pilot helping you successfully accomplish your mission, not a compendium of rules and regulations – our goal is to provide the information you need at your fingertips at the time you need it.
In an effort to improve safety for everyone who flies in our skies, we’ve taken advantage of our existing integration with Leidos and FAA Flight Service. Flight Service Stations provide air traffic briefings to 80,000 manned aviators every week to facilitate their understanding of weather conditions, runway closures, as well as drone activity along their planned route of flight. Integrating unmanned and manned operations into a common and shared view of the airspace will be essential as UAS proliferate, so now when an RPIC files for a LAANC authorization, UASidekick files a concurrent notification in the Flight Service system. This improved operational transparency is especially important in controlled airspace settings (e.g. airports) where everyone is low and slow and the potential for a manned/unmanned intersection is increased. All of this information is displayed on a single, holistic map that UAS and manned aviators can easily access. Of course, in certain public safety situations, this transparency may not be desired so the notification is easily toggled off.
The enhanced safety impact of this improved situational awareness has been recognized by Allianz Global Insurance and Transport Risk Management. After assessing loss ratios, they determined that pilots who file “flight plans” and operate responsibly are actually safer pilots. We are delighted to announce a partnership with Allianz and Transport Risk whereby UAS pilots who file with UASidekick are eligible to receive substantial discounts on their insurance premiums, up to 25% off.
It is the goal of UASidekick to provide easy, effective tools that make pilots’ lives easier and improve safety in the shared common good that is our National Airspace System (NAS). Although we are charging $5/month for full and unlimited access to the system, we believe that our partnership with Allianz Global can more than offset that cost so that everyone comes out ahead. This modest fee will allow us to continue to enhance the capabilities of the tool based directly on the feedback of our users. In fact, customer suggestions and beta testers directly drive our development cycles so we are always on the lookout for anyone who would like to contribute. At UASidekick, leadership is both Part 107 RPICs as well as Part 61 manned certified. Because of this, we believe that the app should solve real problems that meet the needs of our pilot brethren regardless of the type aircraft they operate and in turn enhance the safety for everyone who flies in the sky. Please look for new enhancements to be rolled out soon and happy flying!