GUTMA safety task force releases USSP safety support assessment document

The Global Uncrewed Traffic Management Association (GUTMA) Safety Task Force has released the U-space service provider (USSP) Safety Support Assessment document. Its goal is to support the initial discussion on the safety support assessment to be performed by a USSP applying for certification to a competent authority in the framework of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/664 of 22 April 2021 on a Regulatory Framework for the U-space. It targets specifically Article 15(1)(e) (Conditions for obtaining a certificate) and two related AMCs: AMC1 Article 15(1) Conditions for obtaining a certificate Safety Support Assessment and AMC6 Article 15(1)(e), Management System — Safety Assessment (Of the Applicant’s System).

The initiative aims to standardize the process by which USSPs engage with authorities regarding the scope of their safety assessments. This document represents a collaborative effort within the industry to ensure consistency and clarity in safety protocols across various jurisdictions.

The document does not tackle questions related to the risks of establishing a U-space airspace. Those are the responsibility of Member States that choose to designate such airspaces. The responsibility of the USSP is limited to managing the safety impact of its own services.

The GUTMA Safety Task Force is led by Benoit Curdy, Head of Strategy and Innovation Section at the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, Switzerland (FOCA).

The implementation of the U-space regulation is a work in progress. Its terminology is not yet fully stabilized. This is reflected in the use of the term “safety assessment” in the AMC/GM to the U-space regulatory package. EASA is aware of those issues and is actively working to correct them at the time of writing. In this document, we highlight the fact that USSPs perform a task usually understood as “Safety support assessment”. To minimize potential misunderstanding, we therefore use the term “safety assessment” to the authority-driven system of systems safety assessment and use “safety support assessment” for tasks carried out by USSPs. It is recommended that applicants explicitly discuss these semantic challenges when applying for certification.

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