Draft guidance for RPAS BVLOS operations

Closed 7 Apr 2021

Opened 10 Mar 2021

Overview

CASA is developing guidance to help remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) holders wanting to conduct remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

We have developed several draft standard scenarios to provide clarity about the minimum evidence and information requirements.

We are seeking technical feedback on the first set of scenarios for:

  • RPAS operations near a vertical object, such as buildings or powerlines, with a controlled ground environment (AU‑STS 1), or a sparsely populated ground environment (AU-STS 2)
  • RPAS operations within 3 NM of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome in a remote area (AU‑STS 4)
  • RPAS operations in remote Australian airspace, defined by CASA as areas with a very low population density and negligible air activity (AU-STS 6 and AU-STS 7).

These documents are:

  • Draft Standard Scenario application and documents – Guidance material
  • Draft AU-STS 1: Applicant response - BVLOS operations near a vertical object(s) with a controlled ground environment
  • Draft AU-STS 2: Applicant response - BVLOS operations near a vertical object(s) with a sparsely populated ground environment
  • Draft AU-STS 4: Applicant response - BVLOS operations in a remote area within 3 NM of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome
  • Draft AU-STS 6: Applicant response - BVLOS operations in remote Australian airspace (below 400 ft AGL)
  • Draft AU-STS 7: Applicant response - BVLOS operations in remote Australian airspace (400 ft AGL to 5000 ft AMSL).

How we assess risk

CASA assesses BVLOS applications using the specific operations risk assessment (SORA) process.

The SORA provides the minimum technical, operational and organisational requirements an operator must provide for an acceptable safety case.

The standard scenarios in the guidance material are intended for use by ReOC holders and cover RPAS operations that meet predefined criteria and comply with the methods and principles of the SORA.

SORA was developed by Joint Authorities for Rulemaking of Unmanned Systems (JARUS).

These guidance documents are applicable to RPAS operations in Australian airspace only.

Why we are consulting

CASA recognises the valuable contribution that community and industry consultation makes to the regulatory development process. For this reason, we are seeking feedback on whether the draft documents provide adequate guidance for the preparation of a BVLOS approval application across a variety of operational contexts and work as intended.

A copy of each draft guidance document is provided below and on the survey page alongside the question to which they are related.

It is important that you read the guidance documents before providing your feedback.

Comments should be submitted through the online response form.

What happens next

At the end of the response period for public comment, we will review each comment and submission received. We will make all submissions publicly available on the CASA website, unless you request your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a Summary of Consultation which summarises the feedback received, outlines any intended changes and details our plans for the guidance.

Feedback will be used to inform the final release of each standard scenario, which will be published to the CASA website. If significant feedback about a particular scenario is received, CASA may choose to conduct further consultation about that scenario. This may result in a delayed release for that scenario.

Audiences

  • CASA Staff
  • Drone training organisation
  • Holder of RPAS remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC)
  • Holder of RPAS and remote pilot licence (RePL)

Interests

  • In-house training