Aircraft and aircraft systems

Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft and aircraft systems are generally classified according to whether they are certified by type or not. These categories are determined according to the level of assurance required for the AAM and RPAS aircraft and their intended operations. Aircraft and aircraft systems includes:

  • airworthiness and certification of aircraft

  • qualification of systems and equipment

  • systems and equipment

  • design, production, and maintenance organisation approvals

  • automation and autonomy

  • communications (C2L).

Aircraft and aircraft systems
Image of a drone, Aircraft and aircraft systems

What we want to achieve

We intend to develop clear pathways and regulations to certify RPAS and AAM aircraft and aircraft systems. This should be a harmonised framework consistent with all major international regulators (for example the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and European Union Aviation Safety Agency [EASA]) and use performance-based standards.

One key framework is the specific operation risk assessment (SORA). This is the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) agreed vision on how to safely create, evaluate and conduct an uncrewed aircraft system operation.

The SORA provides a method to guide both the applicant and the skilled authority in determining whether an operation can be carried out in a safe manner. It sets out a risk assessment method that evaluates the intended concept of operation and categorises into 6 different specific assurance and integrity levels (SAIL). It then recommends operational safety objectives to meet each SAIL.

In developing these pathways, the following principles are proposed:

  • Certification of AAM would be in line with international regulatory frameworks using industry consensus standards.

  • Higher risk RPAS that need to be certified by type (generally SAIL V or VI) will be in line with international regulatory frameworks. Industry consensus standards will be used to certify the types and they will have comparable safety to general aviation aircraft when operating in non-controlled airspace.

  • Low risk RPAS that need to be certified by type will be in line with recognised methods (for example, methods by the FAA or EASA).

  • For RPAS that are not required to be certified (required operational approval only), we will keep regulatory alignment with JARUS SORA.

How we will do this

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for piloted AAM.

  • Review applicable maintenance policies for AAM.

  • Review international frameworks, standards and methods for certification and assurance of RPAS. This includes consideration of adoption of FAA durability and reliability method for low risk RPAS.

  • Review applicable maintenance policies for RPAS.

  • Publish guidance on the evidence requirements from the original equipment manufacturer verse the operator for RPAS operational approvals.

 

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for single aircraft, single operator and multiple aircraft, single operator for AAM.

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for remotely piloted AAM.

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for multiple aircraft, single operator for RPAS.

  • Make sure certification standards are internationally harmonised for AAM.

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for highly automated RPAS.

  • Publish acceptable industry consensus standards for highly automated AAM.

Published date: 3 June 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//search-centre/corporate-plans/rpas-and-aam-strategic-regulatory-roadmap/aircraft-and-aircraft-systems
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