Drone Course

General Certification Requirements


This chapter offers guidance on the general certification requirements for UAS, where this is applicable.


The approach taken by CCA for certification is, in principle, the same as that followed by EASA and other NAAs and is described below. Within this process the actual requirements that make up the certification basis, which must be shown to be met, may well be different for each NNA due to the views, experience and concerns of each country.


• Aircraft over 150kg and within the remit of EASA, i.e. aircraft that meet the conditions specified in EU Regulation 216/2008 (the Basic Regulation) need to be certificated by the EASA, and hence reference to them must be made.

• Aircraft of 150kg or less, or aircraft which can be considered to meet the conditions specified, are subject to national regulation and hence the information and guidance provided in this document applies.

• The CCA process and requirements that will be applied for the certification of UAS, where certification is appropriate, is described below.

Certification Process

• The initial airworthiness or “Type Certification” process can be considered to follow a simple flowline, albeit there may be parallel paths with obtaining of Design Organization and Production Organization Approval, where these are necessary, which must come together at key cross-contact points.

• The following describes the typical process for aircraft of 150kg and above.

⁃ Phase 0: Company develops idea to point of maturity where certification is considered appropriate or necessary. During this phase the company will need to consider both functional requirements (to derive a product that is capable of performing what is intended) and also the external requirements that may need to be met. It may also include the building and testing of initial developmental and prototype machine.

⁃ Phase 1: Application is made to the CAA to begin the certification process. At this point the formal process begins which enables two things:

– The applicable certification requirements are defined as those published at this date. Compliance with these requirements must be demonstrated within five years. If this is not achieved, later published revisions to the requirements may be introduced.

– The initial or general familiarization of the product begins, this enables the CAA to begin to review the applicable specific requirements set and notify/confirm this to the company and to determine the technical areas that will require specialist involvement in the project.

⁃ Phase 2: Detail or technical familiarization leading to the agreement of the certification requirements set – the certification basis. In this phase the company briefs the CCA specialists on the detailed design, the requirements that they have considered applicable and how these are planned to be demonstrated as being met – the means or method of compliance. The CCA specialist team considers these proposals and, following further discussion with the applicant, an agreed certification basis is documented. This basis will usually start from one (or more) of the existing Certification Specifications from which unnecessary items will be deleted. Additions may be introduced to cover where the requirement is inadequate or there are no suitable requirements due to the new or novel technologies used. For simple designs these phases can be covered as one.

⁃ Phase 3: The Company works to demonstrate compliance with the Certification Basis in the agreed way. If necessary further dialogue is held to ensure that the most effective ways of working are used to agree changes in the means/methods of compliance, or indeed to revise the requirements if changes to the original design are made and warrant this.

⁃ Phase 4: Compliance has been shown. The CAA team will complete their report and recommend issuance of the aircraft type design approval, which is recorded by the Type Certificate and the associated Tupe Certificate Data Sheet. These define the aircraft type, high level features, the certification basis met, applicable maintenance, inspection and operational instructions, key limitations, restrictions and conditions and other necessary information that form the approved design.

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