Drone Operators Wake Up!

The Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) Has Been Published
By Peter van Blyenburgh

On 31 July 2017, the Joint Aviation Authorities on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) – www.jarus-rpas.org – announced the publication of the first edition of JARUS Document 06 on Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) / Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) / Drones.

This document recommends a risk assessment methodology to establish a sufficient level of confidence that a specific operation can be conducted safely. In addition to this document two Annexes have also been published:
– Annex A – Guidelines on collecting and presenting system and operation information for a specific UAS operation; and
– Annex 1 – Glossary of Terms.

The SORA is a living document, therefore this first issue of the SORA is meant to inspire operators and approving authorities and to highlight the benefits of a harmonized risk assessment methodology. As the work on the SORA evolves, feedback from operators and authorities that use the SORA will be critical to improve the current edition. JARUS Working Group 6, which produced the SORA is therefore making a call to all UAS/RPAS/Drone operators that will be using the SORA methodology to provide their feedback. All comments must be supplied by means of a specific “feedback form” – See http://jarus-rpas.org/feedback/SORA

The SORA will be of critical importance to unlock the business potential in “Specific” operational category (flight altitude below 500 feet and BVLOS – irrespective of aircraft mass) that is detailed in 2 Notices of Proposed Amendment (NPA) recently published by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA):
–   NPA 1705-05 (A) on the Operation of Drones in the Open & Specific Categories; &
–   NPA 1705-05 (B) on the Operation of Drones in the Open & Specific Categories.

The SORA also stands to have significance for national aviation authorities outside of Europe.

NPA 1705-05 (A & B) indicates that the flights in the “Specific” operational category will be based on standard operational scenarios for which the risk assessment has been carried out using the SORA methodology.

Consequently, all UAS/RPAS/Drone operators are strongly encouraged to read these 3 documents and to supply their comments and suggestions for improvement. The final edition of the SORA, if adopted by EASA, will definately have an influence on your future drone operations.

Note: JARUS has not indicated a deadline for the submission of comments.

For additional information contact Julia Sanchez at contact@jarus-rpas.org

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