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RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap TWG
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The Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG) was established by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) in July 2021.
The role of the TWG is to:
- Provide industry insight and understanding of current needs and regulatory approaches that support the advancement of RPAS and AAM in Australia.
- Provide current, relevant technical expertise for the development of an aviation safety regulatory roadmap to guide CASA’s future regulatory approach for RPAS and AAM.
- Co-design a draft RPAS and AAM aviation safety regulatory roadmap with CASA.
The Co-Chairs of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap TWG are Reece Clothier (industry representative) and Luke Gumley (CASA representative).
The TWG members include:
- Peter Jones
- Rowan Kimbar
- Anna Kominik
- Meg Kummerow
- Nicola MacPhail
- Tim Nolan
- David Ostler
- Tom Pils
- Greg Tyrell
- Jesse Suskin
- Rob Weaver
- Adam Welsh
- Brendan Williams
The Observers of the TWG include:
- James Kaminski
- Benedict Lyons
- Greg Pasfield
- Julian Webber
Outcomes are published after each meeting.
Thursday 28 October 2021
This was the 3rd Plenary Session for the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG) Sub-Working Groups (SWG). The key points from the consolidation of the use case work were discussed, as was the plan moving forward and into the next phase of SWGs focused on the identified regulatory ecosystem areas.
The main themes identified across the use cases were:
- The types and risk profiles of operations that can be conducted needs to expand.
- Approval processes and CASA oversight needs to be more efficient.
- To continue to allow the RPAS and AAM industry to thrive CASA need to continue to enable new operations.
The regulatory ecosystem areas are:
- Aircraft and Aircraft Systems
- Airspace and Traffic Management
- Safety and Security Assurance
The SWGs will reconvene on Monday 22 November to update the group on their progress regarding the regulatory ecosystem areas.
Thursday 14 October 2021
This was the 2nd Plenary Session for the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG) Sub-Working Groups (SWG). The 1st Plenary Session was held on October 14 to establish the SWGs and provide background information on the TWG. Mark Binskin, the new CASA board Chair spoke to the group, the plan moving forward with this body of work was discussed, and each SWG presented the work they had completed since the last session.
Mark Binskin spoke on:
- The importance of this roadmap in the continued development of new and emerging technologies, particularly autonomous technologies, in aviation.
- The importance of this roadmap being a “living, breathing” document to be continually developed and updated.
- Ensuring RPAS and AAM can be safely and effectively integrated with the existing aviation system.
The SWG presented on the following use cases:
- Surveillance and monitoring / Inspections and imaging / Entertainment
- Carriage of cargo and packages
- Passenger-carrying AAM in urban and regional environments (UAM & RAM)
- Aerial application
- Sport and recreation
- Research and Development
The SWGs will reconvene on Thursday 28 October to commence the second phase of SWG activities, which will consider the regulatory ecosystem areas devised by the TWG.
Wednesday 15 September 2021
This was the sixth meeting of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG heard from NASA about their work on AAM and Urban Air Mobility (UAM). A summary of last session was discussed, and CASA feedback was provided regarding immediate priorities and industry pain points. The discussion then turned to the establishment of Sub-Working Groups (SWGs) to support the TWGs activities.
NASA presented on the following topics:
- The UAM Vision Concept of Operations (ConOps) UAM Maturity Level 4 (UML-4) published earlier this year
- The work being undertaken by the NASA AAM Ecosystem Working Group
The following was addressed in regards to the establishment of SWGs:
- Risk-based framing of use cases to aid SWG activities.
- The TWG members approved the membership of each SWG as proposed by the Co-Chairs from nominations provided by TWG members last week.
The SWGs will be officially stood up and receive tasking instructions at the SWG Plenary Session on 24 September 2021.
Friday 3 September 2021
This was the fifth meeting of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG heard from CASA representatives about current and upcoming pieces of work. The TWG also closed out feedback from last week's session and discussed the presentation from EASA that was held out of session. The TWG then discussed use cases and their relevance to the sub-working groups (SWGs) that will be formed.
CASA Representatives presented on the following topics:
- Digital enablement
- Australian Future Airspace Framework
- Certification of AAM aircraft and RPAS
- Part 101 Post-Implementation Review
- Recreational registration and accreditation
The TWG then discussed the presentation from EASA which covered:
- EASA's "operational centric, risk-based, performance-based regulation" approach
- Sliding tailoring of regulatory requirements driven by risk
- The CE marking system and manufacturing standards
- The integration of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) Specific Operational Risk Assessment (SORA) into EASA's regulatory framework
The following feedback from TWG members was discussed:
- The feedback regarding guiding principles and objectives were closed out
- Feedback on terminology and industry pain points were also discussed with CASA to resolve all feedback by next meeting
Finally, the TWG discussed the establishment of SWGs, including:
- The two-step process the SWGs will use to work through use cases
- A worked example of this process was provided by the Co-chairs
- The following SWGs were decided upon using the agreed upon use case categories:
- Surveillance and monitoring / Inspections and imagining / Entertainment
- Carriage of cargo and packages
- Passenger-carrying AAM in urban and regional environments (UAM and RAM)
- Aerial application
- Sport and recreation
- Research and development
TWG members have been tasked with providing nominations for each SWG. The TWG aims to establish these SWGs at the next meeting on 15 September.
Wednesday 18 August 2021
This was the fourth meeting of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG heard from Transport Canada about their 5-year Drone Strategy and current RPAS regulatory activities. The TWG also closed out feedback from last weeks session and discussed terminology and definitions, current industry pain points, and work stream areas to inform the establishment of sub-groups within the TWG.
Transport Canada presented on the following RPAS related work:
- their overall approach and philosophy for RPAS related regulatory development
- enablers for delivering regulatory activities such as Research and Development and industry collaboration
- the initial development of their Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) standard operating conditions
- the development of approvals and conditions for low risk Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations
- an overview of RPAS Traffic Management (RTM) development in Canada.
The TWG then addressed the following:
- a consensus was reached regarding the time horizons for the roadmap
- there was a discussion regarding terminology and definitions. This will continue to be a discussion topic in future meetings
- there was a discussion regarding specific industry pain points as identified by TWG members. This will continue to be a discussion topic in future meetings
- there was a discussion of potential work streams which will inform the establishment of sub-groups within the TWG
- there was a discussion on the best approach to populating the roadmap.
TWG members have been tasked with providing important use cases and any remain industry pain points which will be discussed at the next meeting on 3 September.
Wednesday 5 August 2021
This was the third meeting of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG).
The TWG discussed the meeting tempo and how best to maintain the momentum of discussion while also accommodating members’ schedules and allowing time for considered feedback. The group has agreed to move to fortnightly meetings. To support transparent co-development, a collaborative GovTeams site has been established that will allow members to review and comment on documentation between meetings.
There was a discussion about UTM and how it fits within the scope of the TWG. It was acknowledged that there needs to be coordination between the work of the TWG, the NEAT UTM working group and the development of the Australian Future Airspace Framework noting that the TWG would focus on the regulatory elements that will need to be in place to support UTM.
The TWG has begun working through the draft roadmap working document. There was discussion about the objectives, guiding principles, ecosystem/regulatory areas, time horizons and definitions that need to be included. TWG members have been tasked with reviewing these topic areas for further discussion and agreement at the next meeting on 18 August.
Wednesday 28 July 2021
This was the second meeting of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG heard from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about UAS and AAM integration activities within the US. The TWG also discussed the proposed regulatory roadmap structure, strategic pillars and regulatory themes.
The FAA presented on the following UAS and AAM integration work:
- expected timeline of operations driven by operational and vehicle complexity
- FAA’s cyclical “operations first approach”
- FAA’s vision for AAM integration and initiatives to support AAM and UAS integration
- the five key ecosystem areas guiding FAA’s AAM work: Aircraft, Airspace, Operations, Infrastructure and Community
- collaborative efforts between FAA and NASA particularly in relation to the AAM working group.
Following the FAA presentation, the TWG participated in a discussion and debrief about the US approach.
The TWG then discussed the proposed draft structure of the Australian roadmap and the strategic pillars and themes:
- it was noted that the roadmap will continue to change and evolve and should be driven by the needs of industry
- the roadmap may need to consider all relevant areas, such as UTM, without replicating work being undertaken in other areas of government
- there was discussion about which benefits should be considered and the option of identifying areas where Australia may choose to follow other countries versus taking an active Australian position
- there was lengthy discussion about the proposed structure of the roadmap; it was generally agreed to approach this in two parts – at the macro level considering principles and strategic pillars, and a more detailed approach that identifies practical activities against each of the time horizons, tied back to the high-level objectives of the roadmap.
Wednesday 21 July 2021
This was the initial meeting of the RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap TWG.
The purpose of the meeting was to welcome members, provide an overview of the ASAP’s expectations and objectives of the TWG.
The TWG co-chairs provided an overview of the following:
- scope and objective of the roadmap, noting that it is one deliverable of several in the National Emerging Aviation Technologies (NEAT) policy statement
- general approach the TWG will take in developing the roadmap based on the principle of co-design between CASA an industry
- proposed structure for the roadmap
- the draft roadmap will need to be developed by the end of this calendar year in preparation for public consultation.
A brief overview was provided of parallel work being undertaken in CASA on the Australian Future Airspace Framework.
It was clarified that cost to industry of potential regulatory changes will be included in the roadmap considerations.
Discussions were had about mechanisms for broader engagement with industry and experts.
The TWG discussed when CASA would lead globally and in what circumstances CASA should follow closely behind international developments. This will be considered during development of the roadmap.
Members were asked to consider for the next meeting the proposed thematic pillars of the roadmap and regulatory areas.
The next meeting is scheduled for 28 July.
The TWG is working towards finalising a draft for public consultation by the end of the 2021 calendar year.
The RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap is being developed consistent with the Australian Government’s National Emerging Aviation Technologies policy statement, led by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC). Visit the DITRDC website for more information on the Government’s approach.