Kittyhawk Partners With Boeing to Offer Near-Real-Time Drone Flight Authorizations

Kitthawk partnering with Boeing, which is FAA-approved to offer near-real-time drone flight authorizations to clients, now allows them to do the same.

Commercial drone software company Kittyhawk has partnered with Boeing to provide its customers with rapid FAA drone flight authorizations. 

Thus far, garnering quick drone flight authorizations from the Federal Aviation Administration is a fairly exclusive scenario, with only a few companies able to guarantee these time-sensitive permissions.

According to Forbes, Boeing is one of 10 companies that took part in the FAA’s closed beta program which allows for facilitated, faster authorizations. Of these 10, only three companies took advantage of their position by developing software for the public. That means commercial clients can use Kittyhawk to get quicker flight authorizations from the FAA, because of the company’s collaboration with Boeing.

“Our collaboration with Boeing means it will be faster for us to offer airspace authorizations in the next coming weeks,” said Josh Ziering, Kittyhawk co-founder and CEO. 

It was only on Monday that the FAA reportedly started providing drone pilots who plan on piloting UAVs below 400 feet with the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability. Yesterday, Kittyhawk was able to provide its customers with these near-real-time flight authorizations for the first time, simply because it partnered with Boeing, which is FAA approved to do so. However, it’s not like Kittyhawk is the only game in town. There is definite competition out there.

According to Forbes, Airbus, Verizon’s SkyWard, and DJI’s AirMap will be providing app-based flight authorizations through LAANC tech, as well. LAANC will be available in 150 metropolitan areas during this initial phase, with 350 further areas throughout the year. In Ziering’s mind, however, Kittyhawk’s version of the process is far more thorough and all-encompassing than any competitor’s. 

Kittyhawk’s app., Kittyhawk

“We aim to be the operating system for drones,” said Ziering. Kittyhawk’s software is reportedly able to manage all phases of drone operation, with real-time operations and management solutions for drone flights, such as flight log info, weather data, mission planning, maintenance management, and more. Naturally, it’s services like these which appeal strongly to commercial clients seeking to use drones in monitoring, inspection, construction, and other industries. 

Additionally, drones can live-stream their recordings with a subscription to Kittyhawk’s service – an appealing prospect for clients who need immediate feedback for any time-sensitive issues a UAV’s vantage point could assist with. “We can live stream from a drone securely to anyone else in the world,” said Ziering

According to Ziering, the ability to finally easily authorize flights for customers will add huge appeal to Kittyhawk as the go-to company for clients who have been hesitant to implement drones in their business models. “This is going to allow people to do work with drones faster,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it because it’s great that people will be able to touch drones in a positive way they haven’t been able to before.” If the FAA’s projections that the commercial drone industry will grow fourfold by 2022 are accurate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kittyhawk become a substantial part of that effort.