USC Releases Small RPAS BVLOS Best Practices to the Community

Unmanned Systems Canada is publicly releasing Small RPAS Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) Best Practices, a document developed by Unmanned Systems Canada to provide guidance to industry for BVLOS operation of small unmanned aircraft.

This document was previously released to registered members of Unmanned Systems Canada as version 1.1 for discussion at the Unmanned Canada 2016 Conference, November 2016, and now is being publicly released for user application and comment.

This document presents recommended practices and guidelines for established Small UAS operators who wish to extend their operations from VLOS to BVLOS. These guidelines are based on the Phase 2 BVLOS recommendations of the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council Unmanned Air Vehicle Program Design Working Group. This document is, at times, written in a regulatory-type language; however these guidelines are not regulations, but are recommendations provided in advance of expected Transport Canada regulations, standards and advice in order to allow the Canadian UAS industry to align itself with future regulation to the extent practical. It is recommended that any application for BVLOS operations of a Small RPAS in Canada at a minimum address the underlying concepts of all the guidelines provided herein (including by reference those of Staff Instruction 623-001).

It should be noted that the scope of operations that may be considered as BVLOS is extremely vast, ranging from operations that are conducted behind obstructions (e.g. behind a building), to low level cross-country VFR with launch and recovery from an ad-hoc site (e.g. an open field), all the way to cross-country IFR flights through control zones and involving take-off and landing at aerodromes. It should be expected that the level of documentation and justification required to get operating approval is commensurate with the level of complexity of the proposed operation.

It is USC’s recommendation to Transport Canada that this document, and associated feedback received from its release, be the basis for a Transport Canada Advisory Circular for small RPAS BVLOS operations. Readers are encouraged to provide comment and on the USC web site: https://unmannedsystems.ca/usc-releases-small-rpas-bvlos-best-practices-to-the-community/.

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