Operational Area and Flight Plans

This section sets out the typical requirements for the airfield and the nature of any flight plans that must be defined prior to flying. We leave specific details of actual airfields and flight plans to the Test Flight (or other Flight Planning) Manual: this decouples the basic aircraft documentation from what is needed as each new flight scenario is considered (since we typically do not achieve full aircraft certification, rather relying on individual exemptions for each set of flights, this proves an effective way to manage the documents[1]). As noted in Table 19.3, consideration must be given to a wide range of issues associated with the site, risks, communications, permissions to fly (other than from the main regulator), and any weather limitations.

  • [1] To achieve a fully certified airframe, regulators generally require the certification of the design, manufacture, andmaintenance organizations involved, and this is typically beyond the scope of small UAS teams.
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