Tag: Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)

Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)

Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)

Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA): Insights from Hover UAV

At Hover UAV, we understand the critical importance of safety and compliance in drone operations. As the industry continues to grow, so does the need for a structured approach to assess and mitigate risks. This is where Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) becomes essential. Let’s delve into what SORA is and why it’s indispensable for safe and compliant Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operations.

What Is the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)?

Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) is a comprehensive framework designed to evaluate the risks involved in drone operations. It is particularly relevant for operations that require specific permissions from the regulator, such as beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights.

SORA encompasses a variety of documents and guidelines that aid in identifying the potential risks of an RPA flight and outline the measures to mitigate these risks. It divides risks into two main categories: Ground Risk Class (GRC) and Air Risk Class (ARC), which help assess the likelihood of incidents occurring on the ground and in the air, respectively. To manage these risks effectively, SORA introduces Specific Assurance and Integrity Levels (SAIL), which are adjusted through the application of various mitigating measures and threat barriers.

Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA)

Essential Elements for a Successful SORA

For a SORA to be successful, several key elements are required:

  • Concept of Operations (ConOps): This is a detailed document that provides the technical, operational, and system information to assess the risks associated with the proposed operation. It describes the flight plan and how it will be executed.
  • Ground Risk Class (GRC) Determination: The GRC evaluates the risk of a drone impacting a person on the ground. This evaluation considers factors such as the drone’s size, speed, flight type (VLOS or BVLOS), the operational scenario, flight area, and the presence of people. Mitigating measures, such as Emergency Response Plans (ERP), emergency parachutes, or active geofencing, can reduce the GRC.
  • Air Risk Class (ARC) Determination: The ARC assesses the probability of the drone encountering a crewed aircraft. It is influenced by whether the flight is in controlled or uncontrolled airspace, its proximity to airports, and whether it flies over urban or rural areas. Strategic and tactical mitigations can lower the ARC.
  • Specific Assurance and Integrity Level (SAIL) Determination: SAIL provides a confidence level for the flight operation, integrating ground and air risk analyses. It is expressed in levels ranging from 1 to 6, each specifying objectives and supportive activities.
  • Operational Safety Objectives (OSO): Based on the SAIL levels, OSOs outline requirements for the drone, its operator, and the operating organization. These include standards for the operator’s knowledge and skills, as well as technical assessments of the drone and its equipment.
BVLOS Training

Hover UAV’s Role in Your SORA Journey

Hover UAV is committed to promoting safety and compliance in the drone industry. With our experience conducting diverse drone operations and possessing a proven track record in developing many successful SORA safety cases, we are well-positioned to assist organisations in navigating the SORA process. Whether your operations involve challenging BVLOS flights or activities in populated areas, our team is ready to support you in preparing all necessary SORA documentation effectively and efficiently.

For organisations looking to enhance the safety and compliance of their drone operations, Hover UAV offers tailored support and expertise. Contact our team of SORA specialists for assistance and embark on your journey to safer and more compliant drone operations.

By embracing SORA and its approach to risk assessment and mitigation, organisations can safeguard their operations, protect people and property, and leverage the capabilities of drone technology.

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