Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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64 unmanned systems inside   December 2017/January 2018 category A3 can be conducted with privately built UAS, Model Aircrafts, and drones of any class including C3 and C4. Operations require the pi- lot to pass an online test and online training just as the first subcategory, while the minimum age for the pilot is also 16. Wherever the limits of the open category are exceeded, the require- ments of the specific category need to be met. Operators need to either perform a risk assessment, comply with a specific standard scenario or, authorize their own operation in case the operator holds a Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC). SORA and LUC The specific operation risk assess- ment (SORA) follows a methodology currently under consultation with its final version expected at the end of 2017. The competent authority of the Member State would approve the risk assessment through authorization. Another possibility is for the opera- tor to comply with certain standard scenarios that have been proposed. Submitting a declaration to the com- petent authorities shows compliance. The scenarios have a pre-established risk assessment including mitigation measures. Unfortunately, it is to be expected, that the authorization of operations will pose an enormous administrative burden, since the first preview of the SORA is highly complex. It remains to be seen, as to how the standard scenarios might alleviate administrative efforts. The regulators' ability to achieve a level of simplicity of the standard scenarios might therefore be the key to the suc- cess of the specific category. The introduction of Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC) is indeed big news. Legal persons holding a LUC may ultimately be able to authorise their own operations. LUC applica- tions shall be submitted to the com- petent authority of the Member State, which in turn issues the LUC con- taining the UAS operator's privileges, authorized activities and operational limitations. However, the expenses for LUC applicants may be very high. Applicants need to appoint personnel responsible for the safety management and compliance with the requirements of the proposed regulation. Moreover, LUC holders need to es- tablish and maintain a safety manage- ment system, corresponding to the size of the operator as well as the nature and complexity of its activities. Yet the requirements of the management sys- tem remain vague. The management system is planned to include a safety policy with defined lines of responsi- bility and accountability throughout the organization. Furthermore, the LUC applicant needs to identify and evaluate the safety hazards of the op- erations planned and provide mitiga- tion measures against possible risks. Unfortunately, details on what such a safety management system needs to look like and the extent of the risk assessment are yet unclear. Inevitably this will lead to a troublesome appli- cation process, as well as a large ad- ministrative effort for the competent authority, as they will be confronted with extensive and heterogenous applications. Airspace Regulations Furthermore, pilots and operators must not only adhere to the individual categories and their requirements, but also to certain zones established by the Member States. In respect to the demand for flexibility, Member States will be able to designate airspace areas, where UAS operations are prohibited or restricted and areas which alleviate certain requirements in the open or specific category. To ensure standard- ization, such zones and related infor- mation must be published in a manner and format that will be established by EASA to ensure standardization. How the publication process will be implemented exactly remains to be seen. Essentially the zones will have to be published in a manner, so they can easily be integrated into technical systems such as geofencing by the manufacturer, otherwise oper- ators could be overstrained with ob- ligations. However, through the con- cept of UAS-zones, Member States could also undermine the proposed regulation, as they are completely free in determining the zones. This is one example, where the so- called U-Space concept might come into play. The concept was first moot- ed by the European Commissioner of Transport, Violeta Bulc, at a high-level conference 2016 in Warsaw, resulting in the Warsaw Declaration. Drafted by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, the blueprint sets out the vision for the U-space, which aims to enable complex drone operations with a high degree of automation to happen in all types of operational environ- ments, particularly in an urban con- text, hence the term U=Urban Space. U-Space will provide a set of services and specific procedures designed to support safe, efficient and secure ac- cess to airspace for large numbers of UAS Legislation by Oliver Heinrich

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