September 1, 2021
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Australian BVLOS Standard Scenario Approvals

Newly released Australian BVLOS standard scenarios

BVLOS – “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” is considered the frontier of the drone industry in today’s current climate. It means that drones fly beyond the visual line of sight of the operator which for most commercial drone operators is a foreign concept due to regulatory requirements and operational constraints particular the reliability of equipment. The advantages of BVLOS operations are that they enable service providers to introduce more complex operations and capabilities such as drone delivery or long-range inspections. It also allows drones to operate entirely without the need of a pilot for take-off and landing. BVLOS is already trans-formative because it is facilitating thousands of new applications for UAV technology across a number of industries, and it will pave the way for “air mobility” the transport of people and products.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) along with the assistance from Industry has developed and released 5 Standard Australian BVLOS scenarios for the streamlined approval process and to give guidance to the industry on how to enter the Australian BVLOS market.

Characteristics of the BVLOS standard scenarios

The 5 CASA standard scenario characteristics are:

  • near a vertical object over a controlled ground environment that only involves active participants (AU-STS 1)
  • near a vertical object over a sparsely populated ground environment (AU-STS 2)
  • in a remote area within three nautical miles of a registered or certified non-controlled aerodrome (AU-STS 4)
  • below 400 feet AGL in remote Australian airspace, that is defined by CASA as locations with very low population density and low risk of aircraft encounters (AU-STS 6)
  • above 400 feet AGL and up to 5000 feet AMSL in remote Australian airspace, that is defined by CASA as locations with very low population density and low risk of aircraft encounters (AU-STS 7).
Australian BVLOS

Qualification requirements for BVLOS flights

To be able to utilise the CASA BVLOS standard scenarios the organisation must operate under a CASA Remote Operators Certificate (ReOC) and the supervising remote pilot in addition to the Remote Pilots Licence (RePL) for that category must have passed either an:

  • aeronautical knowledge examination (within the meaning of CASR Part 61) for the grant of an instrument rating under CASR Part 61 (ie IREX)
  • aviation licence theory examination before 1 September 2014 that is taken to be an equivalent examination
  • examination approved by CASA.

Steps to Apply for BVLOS approvals

To fly beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS), you must apply for approval.

To apply for a BVLOS flight authorisation, you must:

Application response forms for Australian BVLOS standard scenarios

For applications that meet the operational characteristics of one of the scenarios you may apply using the standard scenario applicant response:

CASA BVLOS Applications have been based on the JARUS-specific operations risk assessment (SORA). SORA was developed by the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) and was adopted by CASA in 2017. For applications not fitting the standard scenarios, a full SORA Risk assessment must be completed based form the JARUS SORA package available at JAR doc 06 SORA (package) (

Assistance can be provided

Hover UAV consultants provide the gold standard in risk assessment, utilising the JARUS SORA process to support your full or standard scenario application for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations.

 Services Include:
• BLVOS Discovery workshops and training

Standard Operational Risk Assessment (SORA)
Develop SORA documentation

Updating of Manuals & Procedures
• BVLOS Operational Plan
• Emergency Response Plan (ERP), Stakeholder Engagement & Human Machine Interface (HMI)
• CASA Assessment Preparation
• Ongoing management of CASA application

Contact the team for your free intial consultation

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