UK plans SORA implementation in late 2024 and is developing a UK variant

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has outlined its timetable for introducing the JARUS Specific Operating Risk Assessment (SORA) process to identify operational limitations and training objectives for the personnel involved in the flights, technical requirements for the aircraft and develop the appropriate operational procedures for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) missions.

“We will be introducing SORA in the UK but for now UAS operators who wish to apply to fly in the Specific category should continue to use the methodology and templates laid out in our CAP 722A publication until we provide further updates on the development of the UK SORA,” said the CAA in a statement.

“The SORA is a tool that may enable BVLOS flights in non-segregated airspace. However, it is not intended as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for allowing full integration of all types of UAS into all airspace classes. The SORA indicates the type of performance goal(s) for airspace segregation/integration measures necessary to meet the target levels of safety for the given airspace volume…”

“UK SORA will be used as an Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) to Article 11 of Regulation (EU) No 2019/947 as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal Act 2018). SORA is not a regulation; it is a set of recommendations and guidelines for conducting a risk assessment and meeting required target levels of safety.

“As SORA will be new AMC for Article 11 of UK Regulation (EU) 2019/947, regulatory change is not required to implement it.

“We plan to have the UK SORA ready for consultation in Q1 2024. However, there are a number of dependencies that need to be addressed first. We’re planning to implement a UK SORA package in Q3/4 2024. The SORA implementation project is an extensive, comprehensive project which is considering all elements of how the UK will implement SORA. Training courses for UAS operators will be developed as part of the SORA project and we’ll provide more details on these when they’ve been confirmed.”

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