• From the above processes the derivation of the applicable requirements is clearly a key aspect. However, it is clear that the current requirements set do not align with the types/size/mass of aircraft that are being developed as UAS.
• Unfortunately, the timeline for developing requirements is likely always to be behind the rate of technological advancement. The current approach is therefore to identify the category that fits as best as possible to the type/classification of the aircraft – and subtract what is not necessary and add to fill the gaps where required. The gaps can be filled by parts of other requirement sets, where practicable, and/or by developing new material where necessary.
• For example: a simple fixed wing aeroplane design may align well with the VLA (Very Light Aeroplanes) category with respect to structure and control surface actuation, etc. However, because of the remote pilot aspects, the design may have a sophisticated command and flight control system, which is not addressed in CS-VLA.
• The main difficulty with this approach, apart from the commercial risk prior to agreement with the CCA, is the potential lack of cohesion between the safety target levels from the different standards.
• Initial and Continued Airworthiness
During the initial certification of an aircraft the initial and continued airworthiness processes may be considered to run concurrently, as the information developed within the initial airworthiness processes feeds into the continued airworthiness processes to develop the “instructions for continued airworthiness “, i.e. the maintenance schedules and tasks which need to reflect the assumptions and considerations of use of the aircraft.
In principe, the intent is that once it has been demonstrated both the initial airworthiness and continued airworthiness requirements have been met, an aircraft type will be issued with a Type Certificate.
• The continuing airworthiness process begins with an evaluation of an organization to determine whether or not it meets the basic requirements to be allowed to perform initial and/or continued airworthiness functions.
• No organization is permitted to work within the aviation industry unless they either have the relevant approvals, as dictated by the continuing airworthiness processes or they are overseen by an organization that holds the relevant approval. This is intended to ensure that any aviation work is performed with a degree of integrity commensurate to the risk associated with that activity. Once an approval has been granted, the continuing airworthiness process runs concurrently with the initial and continued airworthiness processes to ensure that an appropriate level of organizational integrity is maintained to support the individual proyect/aircraft level tasks overseen by the initial and continued airworthiness processes.
• If the initial and/or continued airworthiness processes identify organizational risks, this information is passed back in the continuing airworthiness processes to ensure that these risks are managed appropriately.