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Regulation 2020/639 amending Regulation No 2019/947 with scenrios for operations beyond VLOS

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COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2020/639 of 12 May 2020 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 as regards standard scenarios for operations executed in or beyond the visual line of sight - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union

Objective

To amend Regulation 2019/947, mainly by including the developed standard scenarios for UAS operations in the "specific" category

Summary

The most notable changes to Regulaiton 2019/947 are summarized below:

  • Added 11 new definitions.
  • Added a provision for cross-border operations for LUC certificate holders as well as an applicability date of that provision (02.12.2021). Until that date Member States may accept declarations made by UAS operators based on national standard scenarios. Such declarations shall cease to be valid from 02.12.2023.
  • In order to improve the conspicuity of UAS flown at night and make it easily distinguishable from a manned aircraft, a green flashing light should be activated on the UAS. This requirement is applicable from 01.07.2022.
  • The responsibilities of the UAS operator in the "specific" category with respect to record keeping are described in more detail. These include records for personnel, their qualification and the UAS operations performed, including unusual technical or operational occurrences.
  • Added 2 standard scenarios for UAS operations in the "specific" category (Appendix 1 to the Annex):
    • STS-01 – VLOS (visual line of sight) over a controlled ground area in a populated environment
    • STS-02 – BVLOS (beyond VLOS) with Airspace Observers over a controlled ground area in a sparsely populated environment.

Standard Scenarios

STS-01 - VLOS over a controlled ground area in a populated environment

The provisions of this scenario are summarized as follows (refer to Appendix 1, Chapter 1 for details):

  • The UAS must maintain a height of 120 m above earth at most. Еxceptions are possible in case of high obstacles.
  • Carriage of dangerous goods is not allowed.
  • The UAS must be kept in VLOS at all times. This may be achieved with the help of an observer provided the relevant requirements are met.
  • The flight must be conducted over a controlled ground area meeting specified criteria, including provisions for buffers.
  • The ground speed for untethered UAS is limited to 5 m/s (approx. 10 kt).
  • The remote pilot must hold a certificate of theoretical knowledge and an accreditation of completion of practical skill training (provisions are included for remote pilot training, assessment and certificate validity).
  • The flight must be conducted with an UAS marked as class C5 as described in Regulation 2019/945.
  • The remote pilot must operate only one UAS at a time and must not operate it from a moving vehicle nor hand over the control to another command unit.
  • The UAS operator is responsible for:
    • developing appropriate procedures, including an operations manual and contingency/emergency procedures;
    • ensuring that the UAS meets the regulatory requirements;
    • the organization of the particular operation.

STS-02 – BVLOS with Airspace Observers over a controlled ground area in a sparsely populated environment

The provisions of this scenario are summarized as follows (refer to Appendix 1, Chapter 2 for details):

  • The UAS must maintain a height of 120 m above earth at most. Еxceptions are possible in case of high obstacles.
  • The flight must be conducted over a controlled ground area entirely located in a sparsely populated environment.
  • The minimum flight visibility must be more than 5 km.
  • The UAS must be in sight of the remote pilot during the launch and recovery phases.
  • If the UAS is not in VLOS of the remote pilot, it must be within 1 km distance and follow a pre-programmed trajectory.
  • An exception to the above is the situation when the remote pilot is assisted by observer(s). The UAS may be flown within 2 km from the remote pilot provided the other requirements are met.
  • The remote pilot must hold a certificate of theoretical knowledge and an accreditation of completion of practical skill training. These are similar to the STS-01 requirements but there are additional subjects and areas to be covered for practical skill training and assessment.
  • The flight must be conducted with an UAS marked as class C6 as described in Regulation 2019/945 and have an active system to prevent it from breaching the flight geography.
  • Before starting the operation, the remote pilot must ensure the UAS is programmed to remain within the expected volume of airspace and that the means to terminate the flight are operational.
  • The remote pilot must operate only one UAS at a time and must not operate it from a moving vehicle nor hand over the control to another command unit.
  • The observers must be informed of any deviations of the UAS from the intended path.
  • The UAS operator is reposnsible for:
    • developing appropriate procedures, including an operations manual and contingency/emergency procedures;
    • ensuring that the UAS meets the regulatory requirements;
    • the organization of the particular operation, including appropriate placement of the observers and ensuring appropriate means of communication.

Entry into Force

The Regulation entered into force in June 2020.

Regulation 2020/639 amending Regulation No 2019/947 with scenarios for operations beyond VLOS (OJ, 13.05.2020)

Further Reading

European Commission

EUROCONTROL