Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)
Operating within Visual Line of Sight means that the Remote Pilot is able to maintain direct, unaided (other than corrective lenses) visual contact with the UA which is sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vessels, vehicles and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
VLOS operations are normally accepted out to a maximum of 500 m horizontally and 400 ft vertically from the Remote Pilot.
Operations at a greater distance from the Remote Pilot may be permitted if an acceptable safety case is submitted. For example, if the market aircraft is large it may be justificable that it’s flight path can be monitored visually at a greater distance of 500m may mean it is not possible to assure or maintain adequate visual contact.
Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS)
• EVLOS operations are operations, either within or beyond 500 m / 400 ft, where the Remote Pilot is still able to comply with his collision avoidance responsibilities, but the requirement for the Remote Pilot to maintain direct visual contact with the UA is addressed via other methods or procedures. It is important to note, however, that collision avoidance is still achieved through ‘visual observation’ (by the Remote Pilot and/or RPA Observers).
• The operator must submit a safety case including a risk assessment for the operation. Factors taken into consideration must include:
a) the procedures for avoiding collisions;
b) aircraft colour and markings;
c) aircraft size;
d) aircraft colour and markings;
e) aircraft aids to observation;
f) meteorological conditions and visuality, including background conditions (cloud/ blue sky);
g) the use of deployed observers; and
h) operating range limits – suitable radio equipment must be fitted in order to be able to effect positive control over the UA at all times.
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
• Operation of a UA beyond a distance where the Remote Pilot is able to respond to or avoid other airspace users by visual means is considered to be a BVLOS operation.
• UA intended for operation beyond visual range of the pilot will require an approved method of aerial separation and collision avoidance that ensures compliance with Rule 8 of the Rules of the Air Regulations 2007 (Rules for avoiding aerial collisions), or will be restricted to operations within segregated airspace. Note: this requirement to avoid collisions applies to all fights conducted under IFR and to flights made with an ATC clearance, as well as to fights under VRF.