A new set of guidelines has been released by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) targeting drone operators, manufacturers and national authorities. This documentation details the process for the design verification of UAS, which needs to be taken into account for operations in the specific category.
The importance of design verification has increased since the end of 2020 when the EU UAS regulation came into force and the number of drone operations raised. Considering the drone operators are embracing new kinds of environments for their operations such as populated urban areas, the importance of the design verification is now bigger than ever to ensure safety.
Taking into account the level of risk of the operation the process of design verification may vary:
- High risk operations (SAIL V and VI according to SORA): EASA will issue a type certificate according to Part 21 (EU 748/2012).
- Medium risk operations (SAIL III and IV): a more simplified approach will be applied leading to a ‘design verification report’.
“EASA continues its efforts to ensure safe, secure and sustainable operations of drones,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said. “This new design verification process was developed to support all stakeholders, applying a proportionate approach which will foster innovation and growth in this promising sector”.
The design verification process is immediately applicable and national aviation authorities are encouraged to require all UAS operators who are conducting operations in the ‘specific’ category, with medium risk, to operate drones for which EASA has issued a ‘design verification report’.
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