December 02, 2022


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) considers the operational fundamentals related to the operation of UAVs in the “Special Category” – UAS

Ref Article 5 – ‘Specific’ category of UAS operations Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1166

  1. Where one of the requirements laid down in Article 4 or in Part A of the Annex is not met, a UAS operator shall be required to obtain an operational authorisation pursuant to Article 12 from the competent authority in the Member State where it is registered.

Article 12 – Authorising operations in the ‘specific’ Category Regulation (EU) 2019/947

  1. The competent authority shall evaluate the risk assessment and the robustness of the mitigating measures that the UAS operator proposes to keep the UAS operation safe in all phases of flight.
  2. The competent authority shall grant an operational authorisation when the evaluation concludes that:

(a) the operational safety objectives take account of the risks of the operation;

(b) the combination of mitigation measures concerning the operational conditions to perform the operations, the competence of the personnel involved and the technical features of the unmanned aircraft, are adequate and sufficiently robust to keep the operation safe in view of the identified ground and air risks;

  1. When applying to a competent authority for an operational authorisation pursuant Article 12, the operator shall perform a risk assessment in accordance with Article 11 and submit it together with the application, including adequate mitigating measures.

Article 11 – Rules for conducting an operational risk assessment Regulation (EU) 2019/947

  1. An operational risk assessment shall:

(a) describe the characteristics of the UAS operation;

(b) propose adequate operational safety objectives;

(c) identify the risks of the operation on the ground and in the air considering all of the below:

    1. the extent to which third parties or property on the ground could be endangered by the activity;
    2. the complexity, performance and operational characteristics of the unmanned aircraft involved;

iii. the purpose of the flight, the type of UAS, the probability of collision with other aircraft and class of airspace used;

  1. the type, scale, and complexity of the UAS operation or activity, including, where relevant, the size and type of the traffic handled by the responsible organisation or person;
  2. the extent to which the persons affected by the risks involved in the UAS operation are able to assess and exercise control over those risks.

(d) identify a range of possible risk mitigating measures;

(e) determine the necessary level of robustness of the selected mitigating measures in such a way that the operation can be conducted safely.

  1. In accordance with point UAS.SPEC.040 laid down in Part B of the Annex, the competent authority shall issue an operational authorisation, if it considers that the operational risks are adequately mitigated in accordance with Article 12.

UAS.SPEC.040 Issuing of an operational authorisation Regulation (EU) 2020/639

(1) When receiving an application in accordance with point UAS.SPEC.030, the competent authority shall issue, without undue delay, an operational authorisation in accordance with Article 12 when it concludes that the operation meets the following conditions:

(a) all information in accordance with point (3) of point UAS.SPEC.030 is provided;

(b) a procedure is in place for coordination with the relevant service provider for the airspace if the entire operation, or part of it, is to be conducted in controlled airspace.

(2) The competent authority shall specify in the operational authorisation the exact scope of the authorisation in accordance with Article 12.

  1. The competent authority shall specify whether the operational authorisation concerns:

(a) the approval of a single operation or a number of operations specified in time or location(s) or both. The operational authorisation shall include the associated precise list of mitigating measures;

(b) the approval of an LUC, in accordance with part C of the Annex.

  1. Where the UAS operator submits a declaration to the competent authority of the Member State of registration in accordance with point UAS.SPEC.020 laid down in Part B of the Annex for an operation complying with a standard scenario set out in Appendix 1 to that Annex, the UAS operator shall not be required to obtain an operational authorisation in accordance with paragraphs 1 to 4 of this Article and the procedure laid down in paragraph 5 of Article 12 shall apply. The UAS operator shall use the declaration referred to in Appendix 2 to that Annex.
  2. An operational authorisation or a declaration shall not be required for:
  • UAS operators holding an LUC with appropriate privileges in accordance with point UAS.LUC.060 of the Annex;
  • operations conducted in the framework of model aircraft clubs and associations that have received an authorisation in accordance with Article 16.

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aviation, EASA, Regulation (EU) 2019/947, Regulation (EU) 2021/1166, Risk, SAS blogs, UAS