Safety Assurance

Drone pilots seek to operate in ways which require greater levels of safety assurance, thereby enabling more operational freedom, such as undertaking high-risk operations, flying larger drones, flying in specific locations and to undertake Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. Facilitation includes the generation of Operating Safety Cases (OSCs), the Specific Operating Risk Assessment (SORA) methodology and, subject to system complexity, greater levels of safety assurance up to more robust certification standards including risk assessments and incident reporting.

Operating Safety Case (OSC)

The OSC is required by the CAA for certain drone operations, and is designed to provide a detailed analysis of the drone operation and it’s associated hazards and risks, and then outline a plan to mitigate these risks to an acceptable level.  This is a workflow that produces a document set (as detailed in CAP722A) comprising Volume 1 (Operations), Volume 2 (Systems Technical Specifications) and Volume 3 (Safety Risk Assessment), but may also include other policy documents and other types of evidence.  The result is a CAA issued Operational Authorisation (OA) – valid for one year – which allows the operator to fly under the provisions and limitations set out in the OSC. 

Specific Operating Risk Assessment (SORA)

The Specific Operating Risk Assessment (SORA) is an emerging methodology that is scheduled to replace OSC’s in late 2024.  It introduces a new, more comprehensive methodology designed to provide quantitative evaluation of risk in two specific areas, Ground Risk Class (GRC) and Air Risk Class (ARC). SORA is already being used in the EASA member states and EEI, having already supported SORA development in European operations, is well placed to deliver SORA generation to it’s wider client base. 

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