The Ultimate Guide to Determine Your Drone Risk Level

29 JUNE 2022,

Fribourg, Switzerland - The Specific Operations Risk Assessment is commonly known as SORA is a comprehensive risk analysis which allows the civil aviation authorities (CAA) to understand the risks related to a specific drone operation. It is widely used in Europe but also in Canada, Australia, and other countries to evaluate the level of risk of drone operations and set compliance goals for the companies that intend to fly.

This evaluation classifies the risk of the overall operation in 6 levels (Specific Assurance and Integrity Levels) proportionate to the level of risk of the overall operation. The lowest will correspond to very low-risk operations like those of low-weight drones operated in the open category while the highest will correspond to risks similar to the ones of the certified manned aircraft (EASA Part 21).

The SORA helps applicants and CAAs understand which risks underlie the operation and will then inform the CAA on what must be done to ensure the safety of the operation. For a risk level 1 operation, companies have, for instance, to show basic maintenance and procedures, while at a Specific Assurance and Integrity Level 4, the SORA methodology will require your drone to be design verified, your procedures to be verified and your pilots to undergo extensive training. The Operational Safety Objectives (OSO) will inform you about the requirements for your specific operation (Maintenance, Training, Procedures, Design, Manufacturing etc.) depending on the exact risk level.

UASolutions published a guide that allows operators to use a step-by-step process to find the Specific Assurance and Integrity Level and so ensure that the risk class is correctly analyzed. This guide is based on several years of practical experience on SORA but also on the best practices of the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, the French Direction générale de l'aviation civile and the German Luftfahrt-Bundesamt.

For further information please reach out to Mr Nathanel Apter.

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