CAP 722E Steering and coverage: Rotary wing Swarm Operations – Drones Information

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operating in the UK must meet at least the same safety and operational standards as manned aircraft when performing the same type of operation in the same airspace.

As a result, compared to the operation of manned aircraft of an equivalent class or
Category, UAS operations must not pose or cause a greater danger to people, property, vehicles or ships, either in the air or on the ground.

In unmanned aviation, however, the most important consideration is the type of operation being performed, not who or what is performing it or why it is being performed. Since there is “no one on board” the aircraft, the consequences of an incident or accident depend solely on where the incident / accident occurs. The CAA therefore focuses on the risk that UAS operations pose to third parties. This means that if the risk is greater, more effort or evidence is required.

Swarming is the operation of more than one unmanned aerial vehicle (UA) that is not controlled individually but together.

1.2 Scope

This document applies to civil UAS operators who wish to apply for a permit to operate the rotary wing UA as a swarm within the line of sight (VLOS).

This guide applies to applications for a single swarm in a specific location or for
Applications for multiple operations in different locations. The OSC is simpler for individual operations. The complexity of the OSC will increase significantly if the applicant wishes to obtain authorization to operate a swarm in multiple locations.

Fixed-wing UA swarm operations or flight out of line of sight (BVLOS) are outside the scope of this document. In these cases, UAS operators should contact the CAA directly for further information (see page 6 for contact details).

This document describes the requirements for an authorization to operate a swarm. It also includes instructions on how to fill out the OSC.

CAP722E

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