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Drone OSC Consultation

Drone OSC Consultation

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Drone Operating Safety Case

Operate outside Standard Permissions

An Operating Safety Case (OSC) is a complex, three-volume operations manual that is submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and enables pilots to operate outside of the confines of a Standard Permission - formerly a PfCO, now an Operational Authorisation.

An OSC enables drone operators to push the boundaries of their operations to expand the potential and effectiveness of their missions and provide competitive edge.

The heliguy™ OSC consultancy streamlines the process of preparing an OSC, offering expert support, advice and client involvement throughout, reducing the chances of requiring costly rewrites, and helping applicants achieve an ambitious but compliant OSC.

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Specialist OSC Consultant

Expert support with CAA OSC experience.

The heliguy™ OSC consultancy will help operators achieve these special permissions to expand the potential of their drone flights.

Our heliguy™ OSC specialist was a UAS Technical Surveyor at the CAA, responsible for the evaluation, development and approval of OSC applications. This means he is well versed in the process and requirements of building this document.

This will save time in creating an effective and compliant OSC and should stop the need to go through potentially costly reviews and rewrites with the CAA - saving you money in the process.

Applicants will have access to constant support and advice - including a mentoring and review service prior to submission, as well as a project manager to provide updates.

""The demand for OSCs has exploded and it is growing year after year, so the time was right to add OSCs to Heliguy’s comprehensive range of services.

Our intention is to help our applicants build tailored and effective OSCs which will expand the scope of their operations and push the boundaries of what they can do with their drones.

It may be more cost-effective to develop your own internal drone programme and maintain organisational governance. Obtaining an OSC can be a crucial and prudent part of this process."

Josh

heliguy™ OSC Specialist

What is an OSC?

Three-volume Operations Manual for complex operations.

An OSC (Operational Safety Case) is a complex, three-volume operations manual that is submitted to the CAA and enables pilots to operate outside of the parameters of UKPDRA01 within the Specific Category.

An OSC is required for numerous operational procedures, such as:

  • Flying less than 50m from uninvolved people.
  • Flying less than 50m from uninvolved buildings / property.
  • Flying less than 50m horizontally of crowds of people.
  • Flying more than 400ft in altitude.
  • Conducting EVLOS missions with multiple pilots.
  • Flying beyond visual line of site (BVLOS)

The aim of the OSC is to present sufficient evidence that all relevant hazards and resultant safety risks have been identified within an operation and that these safety risks have been reduced to a Tolerable and As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) level.

This ensures that the required operational safety requirements have been met and best practice is adopted by drone operators in the UK.


How to get an OSC from UK CAA.

Prerequisites and required volumes.

Operators are required to submit a bulk of information to the CAA to obtain an OSC.

For the majority of applications, this information needs to be presented across three volumes.

These volumes are:

  • Operations Manual:Comprehensive summary covering aspects such as the type of operation, emergency response plan, operational procedures and company safety policy.
  • UAS Systems: In-depth submission about the aircraft(s) being used.
  • Safety Risk Assessment: Submit detailed information about the safety risks associated with the operation.

4 Step OSC Process

Multi-step process with support throughout.

Talk to us about your OSC

The OSC consultancy has a multi-step approach – with support throughout the process – to help you build an in-depth, bespoke, and compliant document.

Once an OSC is submitted to the CAA, it can take around 6-8 weeks to be processed, although this can be extended depending on CAA workload.

Your OSC specialist's experience, should streamline the process as much as possible and support your application throughout the process.

#1 Free Consultation

Your OSC specialist will discuss your aspirations and expectations – ensuring they are realistic and achievable.

Honesty and transparency are key: If you don't need an OSC for your operations, we won't tell you to pursue this route.

#2 Statement Of Work

After the initial discussion - and if an OSC is deemed appropriate for your operational requirements - you will receive a free no-obligation quotation and a statement of work.

Once you are happy to proceed with the proposal, you can move onto step three - building your OSC with heliguy™ by your side.

#3 Build Your OSC

We'll help you build an OSC which is tailored to your operations, making it as flexible as it needs to be.

Each applicant will be assigned a project manager, to keep you updated on the progress of your project. Also, access regular contact with your OSC specialist.

#4 Submit to CAA

We will review your OSC proposal before it is submitted to the CAA.

This final review, combined with the experience of your OSC specialist, should reduce the need to go through multiple rewrites/reviews. But if this is needed, we will offer support to get you over the line.

Drone OSC Consultation FAQs

Answers to your most frequently asked questions.
FAQs
When will DJI AeroScope be available?

AeroScope has officially already been launched. However, the units require a short setup process and pricing is not yet public. Submit an Enquiry Form if you're interested in securing a unit.

FAQs
Can AeroScope protect against all drones?

At present, AeroScope only identifies DJI drones - by far the most common brand on the market.

However, DJI have confirmed that a future firmware update could provide identification for other brands.

FAQs
Can drone users opt out of AeroScope identification?

No, as no personal information is shared between the AeroScope user and the drone pilot. Drone pilots can be alerted via the serial number of their drone or their registration number, in countries where this applies.

FAQs
How does AeroScope work?

DJI AeroScope intercepts signals between the drone and the remote controller. The AeroScope can then decode this data (using DJI's proprietary systems) to discern telemetry data.

FAQs
What software does the AeroScope use?

A new piece of software from DJI called the "AeroScope Backstage Management System".

It will help you monitor drones conveniently, either from the included CrystalSky Monitor on the portable unit, or from any device when using the static AeroScope.

A software development kit (SDK) is also available if you need to integrate custom functionality or sync with other systems.

FAQs
Does the AeroScope unit need a WiFi or GPS connection to operate?

No - AeroScope Drone Detection will function without an internet connection or GPS connection.

FAQs
Is the data that AeroScope collects sent to any third parties?

No - only the operator of that specific AeroScope unit will have access to the data it collects.

FAQs
How many drones can AeroScope detect at one time?

Theoretically there is no limit on the number of drones that can be detected by AeroScope.

FAQs
Can anyone buy AeroScope?

No - AeroScope is only be available to the relevant commercial or public organisations at launch.

FAQs
Can I control unauthorised drones with DJI AeroScope?

AeroScope is a drone detection system. It is not designed to intercept drones, take control of them, land them or have any control over them.

It's designed to help you identify threats and give you the best information possible to make informed security decisions.

FAQs
When do I need an OSC?

Drone pilots will need an OSC when wanting to operate outside the normal boundaries of a Standard Permission.

These operations include flying less than 50m from uninvolved people/properties; flying less than 50m horizontally of assemblies of people; operating more than 400ft above the surface; and conducting EVLOS (Extended Visual Line of Sight) or BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) missions.

FAQs
How much does a Drone OSC cost?

There is not a definitive price for a drone OSC from UK CAA, because no OSC is the same.

However, all applications need to be submitted to the CAA. A CAA submission costs up to £1,799 (inclusive of seven hours), and then £257 an hour after that.

The price of an annual renewal with the CAA is £514.

FAQs
How do I submit a drone OSC to CAA?

An Operating Safety Case (OSC) can be submitted to the CAA via a SRG 1320 Form.

FAQs
How long does a Drone OSC take with UK CAA?

Because no operating safety case (OSC) is the same, there is no definitive time-scale for an OSC. 

However, applicants will be kept up to date throughout the process.

Heliguy also values quality over time; helping each applicant build, understand, and then deliver a comprehensive and comprehensive OSC through an effective 360 approach.

Your OSC specialist's experience, should, however, streamline the process as much as possible.

Once an OSC is submitted to the CAA, it can take around 6-8 weeks to be processed, although this can be extended depending on their workload.

FAQs
What does OSC stand for?

The term OSC stands for Operating Safety Case. However, some people refer to it as an Operational Safety Case.

FAQs
Can I do a drone OSC on my own?

Yes you can, by following a template here.

However, you can streamline this process, and be supported throughout, by using heliguy™ OSC consultancy service.

FAQs
How do I become a qualified drone pilot?

Depending on your operational requirements, you can take an A2 CofC or a GVC course.

A2 CofC drone training is for drone pilots flying in the Open category.

Operators wanting to fly in the Specific category (geared at the majority of enterprise pilots) will require an Operational Authorisation (which replaced the PfCO). For this, a GVC is required. 

To find out more, read our in-depth UK Drone Laws blog or learn more about heliguy™ Drone Training.

FAQs
How long does a Drone OSC last for?

Following approval by the CAA, a drone OSC lasts for 12 months (unless the permission is rescinded for breaches, for instance).

After 12 months, you can apply for a renewal.

FAQs
How does a Operating Safety Case (OSC) help me as a drone pilot?

To put it simply, having an drone operating safety case (OSC) enables pilots to fly in more places and more situations. It enables them to push the boundaries of their drone operations.

This can open up new avenues of business and provide a competitive edge. After all, there's not many operators with an OSC, so this shows another level of industry expertise and can potentially lead to more lucrative job contracts as a result.  

For instance, an OSC enables pilots and organisations to operate in some of the most unique locations available and in ways that those operating under a Standard Permission can only dream of.

There may also be occasions where you have been restricted by the standard limitations and were forced to employ expensive contractors to facilitate the requirement. Having an OSC can stop this happening.

FAQs
What are the three volumes required for OSC from CAA?

For the majority of applications, this information needs to be presented across three volumes.

These volumes are:

  • Operations Manual: Comprehensive summary covering a range of areas, including type of operation, logs/records, security/privacy, emergency response plan, operational procedures, UAS operator responsibility/duties, and company safety policy, and more. 
  • UAS System(S): In-depth submission about the type of aircraft(s) to be used, including technical information, and payload requirements.
  • Safety Risk Assessment: Identify, assess, manage and record Safety Risks associated with an operation.    

Operators are required to submit these volumes to the CAA.

The individual OSC volumes that need to be submitted to the CAA depend on the relative complexity of the operation - as shown in the table below.

Click to open the Operating Examples table.

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Up to 25kg Maximum Take-Off Mass

Standard Permission

Required

Recommended

Recommended

Fly less than 50m from uninvolved people/properties;
Fly less than 50m horizontally of assemblies of people;
Fly more than 400ft above the surface; EVLOS; BVLOS.

Required

Required

Required

Over 25kg Maximum Take-Off Mass

Low Complexity UAS and/or Rural Environment

Required

Required

Required

Low Complexity UAS and/or Semi-rural

Required

Required

Required

High Complexity UAS and/or Complex Airspace/Congested Area

Required

Required

Required

FAQs
What Qualifications Are Needed To Apply For An OSC?

An operating safety case (OSC) is available to single operators, all the way through to large commercial drone programmes.  

However, before an OSC proposal can be submitted to the CAA, the individual or organisation must be issued with either:

  • CAA Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO)
  • Operational Authorisation, via a General Visual Line of Sight (GVC) certificate.
  • Equivalent training qualification and Operational Authorisation from a National Aviation Authority (NAA), other than the UK CAA, which is recognised as the same standard by the CAA.

Applicants who are not in possession of the above will be limited in their ability to apply for certain types of OSC, as remote pilot experience is a significant factor in the assessment of the eligibility to be granted an OSC. 

Anyone in this position can still work with heliguy™ for an OSC, undertaking a GVC course prior to applying for an OSC.