A main goal of the EASA is the harmonization of aviation requirements and standards within the EASA member states. This should, for example, make cross-border UAS operation possible without much administrative effort. This blog post describes what is behind this and which requirements the operator has to consider.
Important for the following explanation is the distinction between state of registration and member state. According to EASA, the former is the country in which the UAS operator has obtained its operating authorization for flights in the special category in accordance with Article 12 of DVO (EU) 2019/947. The term Member State is used in the context of this declaration to mean the country (other than the State of Registry) in which the UAS operator intends to fly.
To illustrate the topic, a cross-border flight from Germany to Poland was chosen to explain the requirements.
Route Germany to Poland
- UAS operator: Mustermann GmbH
- Headquarters: Berlin, Germany
- State of registration & competent authority: Germany, LBA
- Member State & Competent Authority: Poland, Civil Aviation Authority Poland
If the UAS operator intends to conduct an operation for which an operational authorization is required in a Member State (e.g. Poland) other than the State of registration (e.g. Germany), all necessary approvals for this operation must be obtained from the State of registration (LBA). This means that the UAS operator must be in possession of an operational authorization that is valid for the planned operation (e.g. flight altitude, UAS type, mode of operation, etc.). This does not apply to operators who are in possession of a light UAS operator certificate (LUC) and have the corresponding privileges for e.g. cross-border flights.
In case the UAS operation has already been issued an operational authorization, the following next steps are required by the UAS operator:
1.) Identify the applicable local conditions in the area of operation; E.g. airspace, airfields, density of people, special features, etc.
2.) Adapt the operational procedures, as necessary; E.g., adapt the Ground Risk Mitigation Measures: Emergency response plan (M3) or strategic reduction of people density (M1).
3.) Application for cross-border operation in the country (Poland) where flying is to take place; The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
(i) A copy of the operational authorization or a copy of the LUC privileges;
(ii) The chapters/sections of the Operation Manual that have been modified to meet the local conditions cf. point 2 (if necessary)
(iii) Evidence of compliance with the modified procedures (see (ii)) according to the level of robustness of the mitigation measures.
The competent authority of the Member State (Civil Aviation Authority Poland) should immediately evaluate the information provided by the UAS operator and verify that the adapted procedures/mitigation measures for the planned flight area correctly take into account the local conditions.
Once the competent authority of the Member State (Civil Aviation Authority Poland) is satisfied, it should send confirmation to the competent authority of the State of registration (LBA) and to the UAS operator that the operation is in compliance with the provisions of the applicable national regulations. After receiving the confirmation of acceptability, the UAS operator can start its operation.
According to EASA, the Operation Manual may be written in English or in the language of the Member State. If cross-border operations frequently take place in different Member States, an Operation Manual (OM) in English is recommended.
Additional information for Light UAS operators
A UAS operator who holds a LUC and has appropriate priveliges may conduct operations without following the above procedures. However, the UAS operator must:
1.) submit an application to the Member State (Civil Aviation Authority Poland) using the form provided for in Article 13(1) AMC1 and attach the following:
(i) A copy of the conditions of approval received in accordance with item UAS.LUC.050 of the Annex to the UAS Regulation;
(ii) the location(s) of the planned operation in accordance with Article 13(1)(b) of the UAS Regulation.
2.) If the LUC permit includes the privilege to evaluate local conditions and apply risk mitigation measures at other sites, the UAS operator may begin operations as soon as it receives confirmation that the application has been received and is complete.
3.) If the LUC permit does not include a privilege to evaluate local conditions and/or apply mitigation measures at other sites, the UAS operator may not commence operations until it has received confirmation that the updated mitigation measures and procedures are satisfactory for the proposed site(s) (see AMC1 Article 13.2 submission).
In case of questions regarding your cross-border flight project, Dronesolut. will be pleased to assist you with professional expertise.