There are over 1 million commercial and recreational drones registered with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). That number is only expected to increase as more individuals and businesses leverage drones.
Every drone flying in the skies is required to be registered, and in 2015 the FAA turned to GDIT to ensure its drone registration system would be always available to users and working seamlessly. The agency quickly understood the importance of monitoring its drone registration site, FAADroneZone, a public-facing, highly trafficked site. An outage would be both frustrating for the site’s nearly 2 million users and damaging to the FAA’s reputation.
Leveraging the GDIT Technology Shared Services center, Network Operations Center (NOC) is provided to the FAA for the site, 24/7/365. TSS monitors 15 servers for operations, and in the rare case of an incident, notifies the technical and management teams.
Today, the team is working on enhancements to the system to further improve its up time, because, as one team member put it, you can’t be down and have the public tell you you’re down. The team is also working on things like enabling the site to accept foreign and military credentials when registering.
Our NOC support has expanded to the cloud-based Drone Zone application as well as to another cloud-based system called LAANC, or Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, which is a public website where drone pilots can request waivers that give them access to controlled airspace at or below 400 feet.
LAANC data goes directly to facilities, where air traffic professionals approve and acknowledge flight activity happening around their airports, giving them more visibility into operations and ultimately making our airports and our airspaces safer.
The GDIT NOC work gives the FAA confidence and peace of mind that both Drone Zone and LAANC, two public-facing sites, are operational and working as they should. Additionally, today the LAANC is being shared in control towers at airports, giving air traffic controllers even more information about how to keep the skies safe for everyone.