UAV Operations Manual Development


Creating an UAV Operations Manual

  • When creating an Operations Manual, UAV operators are required to think about how an operation will be carried out safely, and describe the procedures for UAS personnel to follow. In short, it is the ‘how to do it’ book. The personnel will then use the information and procedures contained within the Operations Manual to comply with the appropriate UAS legislation. It follows then that the UAV Operations Manual must be made available to all operations personnel associated with the operations of the UAV as required under CAR 215 (9).
  • The essential philosophy should be to set-out procedures that enable operational staff to comply with the UAS legislative requirements applicable to the company’s UAV operations without them having to consult the legislative material itself. Given this, it is a requirement that each operator keep an up-to-date, accessible reference library of all the publications referred to in the manual. Operators may choose to include the information from other publications, but simple reproduction or reference to legislative material is not acceptable. In this respect the operator must consider how best to develop information, procedures and instructions to be included in the UAS Operations Manual.

As the UAV operations involves an unmanned aerial vehicle operating in the same space of sky as other aircraft, CASA requires that the suite of manuals for a UAV operator meets the same criteria as an aeroplane or helicopter operator, with some exceptions.

The following is a summary of the steps required to prepare for the UAV OC application while also developing the Operations Manual.

  1. Develop a Business Plan;
  2. Determine aircraft / UAV / Drone / RPA to use ;
  3. Conduct a Risk Assessment;
  4. Operations Manual [Based on CAAP 215-1(1) will follow the following structure]:
    1. Volume 1 – Policy and Procedures;
    2. Volume 2 – Aircraft Operations;
    3. Volume 3 – Aerodromes and Routes and
    4. Volume 4 – Training and Checking Organisations.
  5. Public Liability Insurance;
  6. Pre-Application Interview and
  7. Submit UAV OC application.