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According to an announcement from AirMap, which provides an airspace management platform for drone operators, by fall this year 50 US airports will be allowing unmanned aircraft (UAS) or drone operators, to apply for automated authorizations to fly in controlled airspace around their airports.

These airports will roll out a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) before the end of 2017. Usually, airspace authorization requests for UAS are subject to long waiting periods (up to 90 days) and labor-intensive manual approvals.

To counteract this, the FAA have brought together 12 companies, which includes AirMap, to work out how they can assist the FAA with an automated authorization process for drones to fly in a safe and approved airport air space.

 According to AirMap, the LAANC will enable UAS pilots “to apply for instant, digital approval to fly in U.S. controlled airspace using the same applications they use for flight planning and in-flight situational awareness.”

AirMap co-founder Greg McNeal, writing for Forbes, stated it’s the “first step in the actual implementation of unmanned traffic management”.

It is hoped that all airports will be able to put this into practice by next year.