Drone Course

CAA Policy on UAS Spectrum Issues

Introduction

⁃ The provision of a number of radio communication systems is essential to the safe and expeditious operation of UAS.

The number and type of these radio communication systems vary according to the UAS application. A number of the safety-critical applications are already supported by existing aeronautical systems that operate in dedicated spectrum that ensures the appropriate level of protection.

⁃ However, the identification of suitable spectrum for certain UAS safety-critical systems, such as Command and Control, s still in its infancy and under further consideration by the ITU. During the World Radiocommunications Conference in 2012 (WRC 12), 61 MHZ of additional terrestrial aeronautical safety spectrum was allocated in the frequency band 5030-5091 MHz; no additional spectrum was allocated for aeronautical satellite use, but the regulatory provisions pertaining to 150 MHz of aeronautical safety satellite spectrum in the frecuency band 5000-5150 MHz were revised to ease access to the spectrum and increase protection. Further details will be published when clarified.

Aim

The aim of this policy statement is to clarify the position of the CCA in respect to how it expects the UAS ind

ustry to use spectrum for safety-critical systems.

Policy

The CCA policy is:

⁃ to ensure that frecuencies used to support safety-critical UAS functionality meet both international and national regulations/ legislation;

⁃ to ensure that all frecuencies used to used support safety-critical UAS functionality have been co-ordinated and licensed in accordance with the appropriate licensing regime;

⁃ to ensure that any such license obtained provides suitable protection to the use of that frecuency appropriate to the functionality and safety criticality of the systems being supported and the area of operation;

⁃ to assist in the identification of suitable dedicated spectrum to support UAS safety-critical functionality.

Assignment of Frecuencies

⁃ The assignment of frequencies is the responsibility of OFCOM; however, in the bands bellow the responsibility is undertaken by the CAA on behalf of OFCOM.

⁃ Applications for the assignment of frequencies within the bands identified above must be addressed to the CAA. Applications for the use of frequency other than those listed above must be addressed to OFCOM.

⁃ As may typically aircraft be used in collision warning or sense-and avoid systems, must not be operated without an approval from the National IFF and SSR Commitee (NISC).

Allocation of Spectrum

⁃ The CAA support OFCOM lead on issues related to aeronautical spectrum, including UAS. For information on how to participate in the process for the identication and allocation of spectrum that can be used to support UAS operations contact the CAA.

⁃ In addition, operations close to any facility that could cause interference (such as a radar station) could potentially disrupt communications with the UAS, whatever the frequency in use.

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