Australia seeks comments on draft standards relating to common beyond line of sight applications

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is developing guidance to help drone pilots conduct operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Currently, applications from holders of a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC) are assessed on a case-by-case basis. CASA now plans to standardise the process for common BVLOS applications, according to CASA’s aviation safety magazine.

CASA has developed several draft standard scenarios to provide clarity about the minimum evidence and information requirements, and seeks technical feedback on the first set of scenarios for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) operations:

  • near a vertical object, such as buildings or powerlines, with a controlled ground environment or a sparsely populated ground environment
  • within 3 nm of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome in a remote area
  • in remote Australian airspace, defined by CASA as areas with a very low population density and negligible air activity.

CASA assesses BVLOS applications using the specific operations risk assessment process. This provides the minimum technical, operational and organisational requirements an operator must provide for an acceptable safety case.

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

A copy of each draft guidance document is provided on the survey page alongside the question to which they are related.

CASA requests comments submitted through the online response form.

CASA plans to review each comment and submission received at the end of the response period for public comment – 7 April 2021. It will publish a summary of feedback received and outline intended changes.

Feedback will be used to inform the final release of each standard scenario, which will be published on 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.

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