Drone Course

General Principles for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations outside Segregated Airspace

• For all flights outside DAs or segregated airspace, the aircraft performance and all communications with the ATS provider must be continuously monitored by the UAS Commander and/or its pilot.

To comply with ATS instructions in a timescale comparable with that of a manned aircraft, it is imperative that the capability of taking immediate active control of the aircraft at all times.

• Special equipment (e.g. Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) Transponder) mandated for manned aircraft in certain classifications of airspace must also be mandated as a minimum requirement for UAS intending to fly in such airspace.

• An approved method of assuring terrain clearance is required.

• Standard Operating Procedures are required and these would normally be contained within an organization’s UAS Operations Manual. As a minimum, the following procedures must be covered;

⁃ Take-off and landing procedures;

⁃ En-route procedures;

⁃ Loss of control data link; and

⁃ Abort procedures following critical system failure.

• Additional safety requirements that will be considered under permissions and exemptions may include that the aircraft must not be flown:

⁃ Unless it is equipped with a mechanism that will cause the aircraft to land in the event of disruption to or a failure of any of its control systems, including the radio link, and the person in charge of the aircraft has satisfied himself that such mechanism is in working order before the aircraft commences its flight;

⁃ Unless the person in charge of aircraft has reasonably satisfied himself that any load carried by the aircraft is properly secured, that the aircraft is in an airworthy condition and that the flight can safely by made. Operators and manufactures who are in any doubt as to the airworthiness of their systems must seek independent assessment from either the CAA or an appropriate CAA-approved qualified entity.

Detect and Avoid

• An approved method of aerial collision avoidance is required thus UAS operations will not be permitted in non-segregated airspace, outside the direct unaided visual line-of-sight of the pilot, without an acceptable Detect and Avoid system.

• If the system does not have an approved Detect and Avoid solution.

• If the system does not have an approved Detect and Avoid capability, the restrictions detailed below will normally be applied to UAS operations outside segregated airspace as part of the CAA permissions and exemptions process. The aircraft must not be flown:

⁃ In controlled airspace, except with the permission of the appropriate ATC unit;

⁃ In any aerodrome traffic zone except with the permission of either the appropriate ATC unit or the person in charge of the aerodrome;

⁃ At a height exceeding 400 feet above the surface;

⁃ At a distance beyond the visual range of the Remote Pilot/RPA observer of the aircraft, or a maximum range of 500 meters, whichever is less.

• Where available, the operator is to make use of an ATS provider to monitor UAS flights and to provide a service to them and to other aircraft operating in the vicinity of the segregated airspace. Communications are to be maintained between the ATS provider and the Remote Pilot, and procedures are to be put in place for, amongst others, emergency recovery, loss of control link and the avoidance of infringing aircraft.

• Unless able to comply with the current requirements of the ANO, including the Rules of the Air, UAS flights which are operated beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot are required to be contained within segregated airspace. The UK uses DAs as the primary method of airspace segregation for UAS operations. It is recognized, however, that there may be occasions when UAS flights are planned to take place outside an established DA; in these cases, TDAs could be established to provide the appropriate segregation.

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