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In Switzerland different laws than in the rest of Europe apply when it comes to drones. Operations beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot, in less than 100 m from a gathering of people or with drones heavier than 30 kg will require an operational authorisation.
In Europe, you will not require an authorisation if you don’t overfly people or keep a safe distance of people which will depend on your drones weight (e.g 150 m for drones heavier than 4 kg). Drones heavier than 25 kg or operating higher than 120 m above ground will also require authorisations.
All the operations of drones heavier than 25/30 kg, of drones flying over people or beyond visual line of sight of the pilot will require a SORA. For some operations, the drones will have to be certified and the SORA will not be applicable. This concerns especially operations involving dangerous goods or transport of people.
In some specific cases, the EASA might also have cover your operation with a Pre-defined Risk Assessment(PDRA). Using a PDRA will ease the authorisation discussions with your civil aviation authority but you will still need to assess and demonstrate compliance.
The SAIL stands for Specific Assurance and Integrity Levels. The SORA differentiates between 6 different Levels to decribe the increasing risks of an operation: low risks (SAIL 1) and high risks operations (SAIL VI). A SAIL I operation will have very few technical and operational requirements while a SAIL VI operation will be as demanding as operations in traditional aviation.
The SORA is an iterative process and when putting together a Concept of Operation it can be that an operation has a SAIL that you are not able to comply with. Contact us and we will help you claim a lower SAIL or we may help you understand how to comply with the requirements at higher SAILs.
This depends on the complexity of your operation. SAIL I and other simple operations with very low risks can usually be written in a few days while SAIL II or III SORAs might take several month to be written.
In this context, we can help you to assess how much time you will need to elaborate the SORA and have it authorised.
The SORA is not mission specific but it is a rather new methodology and depending on the risks of your operations the Civil Aviation Authority may decide to authorise your operation only for a very specific location or a specific point in time before granting you further privileges. In other cases, you might have to apply for a Light UAS Operator Certificate to operate in different location or with different operational conditions.