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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

AAIB Bulletin: 6/2021 DJI Phantom 4 RTK AAIB-27058

Safety Recommendation: 2021-023

Safety Recommendation Text

2021-023: It is recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority collate up to date information regarding the failure rates per flying hour for unmanned aircraft systems operating in the specific category, or previously under a CAA Permission for Commercial Operations, to facilitate effective risk assessments.

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CAA latest update

The requirement to gather flying hours data from both Open category and Specific category operations has been considered and the following position adopted:

Open Category: The requirement for Open category UAS Operators to record flying hours as part of the annual Drone Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service (DMARES) will be encouraged, but not mandated; this would require regulatory change. DMARES is currently undergoing an extensive update programme, including moving to a new host platform, which is not expected to be complete until Q4/23 - Q1/24. Once successfully transitioned, the CAA Intelligence Team will be tasked to monitor failure rates based upon ‘hours flown’ and Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MORs).

Specific Category: We will expand upon our privilege, under UK Reg (EU) 2019/947 UAS.SPEC.090, whereby any holder of an Operational Authorisation (OA) must make records available to the CAA upon request. As such, we will now start to collect 'hours flown' data for Specific category operations. New Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material is to be published in Q4/22 and includes a requirement for Specific category UAS Operators to establish and maintain a Flying Logbook and a separate Technical Logbook for each aircraft. Specific category UAS Operators already provide data to confirm that they have conducted a minimum of two flying hours in the last three months via their OA. This measure is an expansion upon that requirement and should enhance safety analysis, validate MOR data and assist a Market Surveillance Authority when compared against aircraft type, though some standardisation may be required.

As previously stated, it should be noted that an OA is typically valid for a year and that there is no obligation on the applicant to renew if they decide to cease operating. This means that following the issuance of an OA, unless Performance Based Oversight (PBO) principles means there is a requirement identified to audit or examine the applicant, the CAA may have no further contact with them.

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