International Meeting On Drone Harmonisation

The Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) group recommends technical, safety, and operational requirements to safely integrate Uncrewed Aircraft Systems into aviation. JARUS consists of 69 member states, with 3 new member states; Armenia, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan welcomed at the plenary.

Heath Macdonald, RPAS operations team leader and Rowan Kimber, Senior standards officer, RPAS Policy and Regulation and facilitate CASA’s contribution to the development of harmonised standards. These specifications sit below the remit of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), such as standards for domestic RPAS operations, with CASA representatives on a number of working groups.

‘I am a member of the organisation and personnel group leading the rewrite of remote pilot competencies and crew. In my role I act as the focal point, essentially to vote on all matters related to JARUS publications and directions of the group. Rowan has taken an active role in the Safety and Risk Management Working group,’ Heath says.

‘Rowan is relied upon by other members due to his extensive operational experience. He has been instrumental in the development of the risk assessment methodology and represents Australia’s views and interests to the highest degree of standards.’

One of JARUS outcomes is the specific operations risk assessment or SORA. SORA is a risk assessment methodology that aligns with conventional aviation target levels of safety to establish a sufficient level of confidence that a specific operation can be conducted safely.

Rowan says, ‘it helps us be able to define the risk a drone operation poses to third parties in the air and on the ground, to determine the operational and technical requirements the operation must satisfy in order to lower the risk to the required level.

‘The Kazakhstan meeting was really important for JARUS and regulators worldwide as the group voted to release the new model, version 2.5, as well as create a work plan for SORA version 3. CASA will work to adopt the new version over the coming 12 months.

‘Countries from Europe and the Americas make up a large portion of the JARUS membership. Having CASA representation is essential to ensure the risk models are fit for Australian purposes.

‘Overall, it is a great example of CASA collaborating with other leading minds in the world to ensure consistency and safety.’

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