Professional remote pilot in the open category who needs to be upskilled into a remote pilot for the specific/certified category
Marco profile
RPAS pilot

Marco's Persona was developed to represent a professional remote pilot in the open category who needs to be upskilled into a remote pilot in the specific/certified category. He will be facing considerable changes in his roles and tasks, shifting from visual line-of-sight (VLOS) remote pilot used to fly for 25 minutes at a time, to beyond line-of-sight (BVLOS) remote pilot who will be commanding a mission that may last up to 6 hours. Additionally, he will change from a single pilot operation to a multi-crew environment, encapsulated inside a ground control station with other subsystem operators. As a result, his soft skills will have to be upskilled to be able to work in a new multi-crew environment. He will need to expand his multi-tasking abilities and improve his communication skills, both for team coordination as well as for aeronautical communication with UTM. On a technical side, he will have to gain new competences on U-space procedures and regulation, air law, airspace management and flight planning, aerodynamics of fixed wing aircraft, meteorology, broad-band long range datalinks, contingency and emergency procedures.


Age: 29

Education/ Expertise:

  • Technical level training equivalent to level 5
  • Currently working for a major player in the field of aerial imagery and structure inspection Location: Rome


  • Active management of the drone mission
  • Considerable experience in flying small open category drones
  • Set-up and programming the mission
  • Risk management and mitigations
  • Coordination with other very low level (VLL) airspace users
  • Preparation of Permit-to-fly required documentation
  • Pre and post-flight verifications/ inspections management

Main challenges in the workplace

  • Change into fixed wing RPAS operations, with higher speed, performance and range
  • Change into use of RPAS with internal combustion engines that carry flammable liquids (propellant/ gasoline)
  • Need for take-off and landing from airport/ aerodrome
  • Use of UTM services and communication with Air Traffic Controllers
  • High skills gaps and training needs in air law, airspace, data management, collision avoidance, aeronautical communications
  • Remote working in a cockpit type ground control station with other subsystem operators who are responsible for the sensors and collected data
  • Mission planning and execution
  • Changes from single pilot to multi-crew operations
  • Airspace sharing with general aviation aircraft

Roles and responsibilities

  • Safe, secure and efficient drone mission planning and execution (considering that drones will share airspace with other general aircraft)
  • Safe, secure and efficient flight drone testing
  • Flying aircraft that, in case of emergency or accident can severely injure people or affect third party assets on the ground or in the air

Skills competences and study pathway

Study Pathway

The study pathway developed for Marco describes the formal training, technical skills and competencies that a remote pilot in the open category who needs to be upskilled into a remote pilot for the specific/certified category needs to acquire.

Expected key behavioural skills and competences

Being a Professional remote pilot in the open category who needs to be upskilled into a remote pilot for the specific/certified category requires also a set of new and additional behavioural competences and skills to perform successfully in the context of the U-Space operational environment. Each competence below includes a short definition, the key behavioural markers and theoretical knowledge associated. The behavioural markers are examples of observable actions and skills that one might demonstrate with these competences.



The ability to demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communications, in normal and non-normal situations.

Knowledge (Knows/aware of / familiar with)

  • The importance of properly communicating to the crew and to outside receiver stations
  • Communication styles
  • How to change/adapt the communication style according to the situation
  • Effective communication techniques
  • The principles of the communication process

Behavioural markers (being able to) Ensure the recipient is ready and able to receive the information

  • Ask relevant questions
  • Accurately read and interpret required documentation and data link messages
  • Correctly interpret non-verbal communication
  • Convey messages clearly, accurately and concisely
Problem solving and decision making


The ability to accurately identify risks, resolve problems and use the appropriate decision- making processes.

Knowledge (Knows/aware of / familiar with)

  • Existing rules and the existing procedures
  • Possible solutions to apply in specific situations
  • The concept of priority and urgency
  • What the priorities in specific situations are
  • The impact on safety that some actions may have
  • Problem-solving and decision making techniques
  • Common obstacles to effective problem-solving and decision-making

Behavioural markers (being able to)

  • Manage critical situations and take timely decisions
  • Review and improve past decisions during debriefing
  • Implement an appropriate solution to a problem
  • Determine the situations that have the highest priority
  • Manage risks effectively without impacting safety
Situational awareness


The ability to perceive and comprehend all the relevant information available and anticipate what could happen that may affect the operation.

Knowledge (Knows/aware of / familiar with)

  • Factors affecting situational awareness
  • How to place and identify the correct location and trajectory that the UAS should take to perform the desired action in 3D space
  • Ways of determining distances from obstacles, aircraft, clouds and populated areas
  • Surveillance systems (for weather, traffic and terrain avoidance)
  • Aircraft general knowledge (systems and instrumentation)

Behavioural markers (being able to)

  • Perform solid navigations in 3D space and manage both external factors that have changed during the flight, as well as internal status of the UAS (e.g., fuel, battery, link, geofence violation, inability to control payload)
  • Perform proper, solid and precise navigation of the UAS in 3D space
  • Anticipate accurately what could happen, plan and stay ahead of the situation
  • Recognize and effectively respond to indications of reduced situation awareness


The ability to operate as a team member building relationship based on trust and cooperation in order to make the team strong and performative.

Knowledge (Knows/aware of / familiar with)

  • Team dynamics
  • Communication, cooperation and coordination with others
  • Conflict management

Behavioural markers (being able to)

  • Foster effective team communication
  • Communicate efficiently with different teams
  • Receive and offer positive and negative feedback
  • Manage interpersonal conflicts
  • Provide support when needed
Workload management


The ability to manage available resources efficiently to prioritize and perform tasks in a timely manner under all circumstances.

Knowledge (Knows/aware of / familiar with)

  • Aviation psychology (fatigue and stress management, etc.)
  • Threat and error management
  • Time management / planning
  • Multi-tasking strategies

Behavioural markers (being able to)

  • Maintain self-control in all situations
  • Plan, prioritise and schedule tasks effectively
  • Manage time efficiently when carrying out a task
  • Offer and accept assistance and ask for help early
  • Review, monitor and cross-check actions conscientiously
  • Manage and recover from interruptions, distractions, variations and failures effectively

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