Drone Course

Emergency ATM Procedures


• The text bellow outlines the requirements for an operator of a oUAS in UK airspace to include robust provision for ATM aspects of the efficient handling of relevant I sUAS emergencies.

• Pre-planned arrangements for emergency manoeuvring of UAS, including manoeuvre into emergency orbit areas, emergency landing areas, ‘cut-down’ points and ditching areas, must be developed in consultation with CAA Airspace Regulation, who will coordinate with associated ANSPs and other elements within the CAA Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG).


• In accordance with the overcharging principle that UAS operation is expected to be transparent to ATS providers, the ATM handling of emergencies involving UAS will be expected to follow the same process as that for manned aircraft with the air traffic controller/Flight Information Service Officer / Air-Ground radio operator providing assistance to the Remote Pilot in order to recover and/or land the UAS without injury to life and, where possible, without damage to property. However, the absolutely overriding objective in any emergency situation is the safety of human life. ATM procedures for dealing with UAS emergencies must, therefore, focus on assisting the Remote Pilot to resolve the situation without endangering other airspace users or people on the ground. Although the ATS provider can offer assistance, ultimate responsibility for concluding a UAS emergency safety must rest with the Remote Pilot.

• UAS operators must, as a minimum, develop procedures which provide for the emergency notification of the relevant ATM agencies in the event that guidance of a UAS is lost or significantly restricted. Such notification must include the last known position, altitude and speed of the aircraft and sufficient additional information, such as endurance, which would enable other airspace users and aerodrome operators to be alerted to the hazard. Such notification arrangements must be reflected in the UAS operator’s safety assessment.

Breaches of ATC Regulations

Guidance relating to breaches of civil ATC regulations must be sought from CAA – Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG), Airspace, ATM and Aerodromes (AAA).

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