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CAA publish 7th Edition of CAP 722 for UAS Operations

CAA publish 7th Edition of CAP 722 for Unmanned Aircraft System Operations

The CAA has published the Seventh Edition of CAP 722, which is now split into three parts with the appendices covered in separate documents CAP 722A and CAP 722B.

The CAP 722 July 2019 amendment updates references and text in accordance with ANO 2016 and its subsequent amendments, changes to European regulations brought about by the publication of the New Basic Regulation in Autumn 2018, incorporates Guidance material that has been published in the interim, and brings terms, definitions and procedures/processes up to date as they have evolved, and a change to the structure of the document.

CAP 722A covers the development of Operating Safety Cases, and CAP 722B covers the requirements for National Qualified Entities.

The UAS Guidance documentation is structured as follows:

CAP 722 – Guidance & Policy

  • Chapter 1 General
  • Chapter 2 Authorisations and Approvals
  • Chapter 3 Policy
  • Chapter 4 Airworthiness
  • Chapter 5 Operations

CAP7 22A – Operating Safety Cases

  • Section 1 UAS OSC Volume 1 – Operations Manual Template
  • Section 2 UAS OSC Volume 2 – UAS Systems Template
  • Section 3 UAS OSC Volume 3 – Safety and Risk Assessment Guidance and Template

CAP 722B – National Qualified Entity

  • Requirements for Approval as a Full and Restricted Category UK NQE
  • Assessment Methods
  • Theoretical Knowledge and Practical Flight Assessment Syllabus

Overview of CAP 722

CAP 722, Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance and Policy, is compiled by the Civil Aviation Authority’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit (UAS Unit). CAP 722 is intended to assist those who are involved with the development, manufacture or operation of UAS to identify the route to follow in order that the appropriate operational authorisation(s) may be obtained and to ensure that the required standards and practices are met. Its content is primarily intended for non-recreational UAS operators, but it is clearly recognised that there is a great deal of overlap with recreational use, particularly when the smaller (lower mass) unmanned aircraft are concerned; as a result, much of this guidance is also directly relevant to recreational uses.

Furthermore, the document highlights the safety requirements that have to be met, in terms of airworthiness and/or operational standards, before a UAS is allowed to operate in the UK.

The contents of CAP 722 is structured as follows and we have highlighted particular points of interest/change:

  • Chapter 1 General
    • Introduction
    • Legal Considerations
  • Chapter 2 Authorisations and Approvals
    • UAS Classification System
    • Authorisation Requirements Map
    • Authorisation to Operate
    • Application Process
    • NQEs
    • Regulatory Enforcement
    • Civil UAS Remote Pilot Competency
  • Chapter 3 Policy
    • CAA Policy on Detect and Avoid Capability
    • CAA Policy on Human Factors in UAS Operations
    • CAA Policy on UAS Autonomy
    • CAA Policy on Security Issues for UAS Operations
    • CAA Policy on UAS Spectrum Issues
    • CAA Policy on UAS Registration
    • CAA Policy on Radar Surveillance
  • Chapter 4 Airworthiness
    • Certification
    • General Certification Requirements
    • What Level of Certification Do I Need?
    • General Safety Assessment Points
  • Chapter 5 Operations
    • Airspace Principles
    • Cross Border Operations
    • ATM Procedures
    • Emergency ATM Procedures
    • Aerodrome Operating Procedures
    • Incident and Accident Procedures

View the full document here: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP_722_Edition_7_(JULY2019).pdf


Overview of CAP 722A

CAP 722A, Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Operating Safety Cases is intended to assist those involved in the production of an Operating Safety Case (OSC) which will be used as supporting evidence to an application to the CAA for operation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

The intent is to ensure that the required operational safety requirements have been met and best practice is adopted by all UAS operators before a UAS is authorised to operate in the UK.

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.

The UAS Operating Safety Case (UAS OSC) has been devised using the ConOps methodology to give a flexible method by which the applicant can provide the CAA with a safety argument for intended operations. Each application for an operational authorisation, exemption or a permission (other than for a ‘standard permission’ for commercial operations and/or for operations within a congested area) must be accompanied by a UAS OSC.

Applicants wishing to apply to the CAA must produce an OSC, for assessment by the CAA. The individual OSC volumes that will be required is dependent on the relative complexity of the operation, based on the table below:

The main change to highlight is that OSC Volume 2 is now only ‘recommended’ for UAS with a mass of 20kg or less.

Mass (kg)
Operating Example
Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3
20kg or less‘Standard Permission’ (commercial ops and/or <150m of congested areas)RequiredRecommendedRecommended
<50m from uninvolved people/properties;

<150m from ‘organised open-air assemblies of more than 1000 persons’;

>400ft above the surface EVLOS BVLOS
RequiredRequiredRequired
over 20kgLow Complexity UAS and/or Rural EnvironmentRequiredRequiredRequired
Low Complexity UAS and/or Semi-ruralRequiredRequiredRequired
High Complexity UAS and/or Complex Airspace/Congested AreaRequiredRequiredRequired

View the full document here: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722A-UASOSC.pdf


Overview of CAP 722B

As the first edition of CAP 722B, information has been extracted and modified from Appendix E of CAP 722 Sixth Edition March 2015 and updated where appropriate in accordance with the regulatory changes within ANO 2016 and subsequent amendments.

The aim of this document is to lay down the requirements that must be met for an organisation to be granted an approval by the UK CAA as a National Qualified Entity (NQE) – more widely known as a CAA-approved commercial drone training provider – in the Full or Restricted category under Article 268 of the UK Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO).

View the full document here: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP_722B%20Requirements_for_UK_NQE_Approval.pdf


There have been multiple updates and additions to CAP 722 as a result of evolving regulations for small unmanned aircraft, and as a leading UK National Qualified Entity, Uplift advises all of our past and current students to familiarise themselves with the Seventh Edition of CAP 722.

To learn more about become a commercial drone operator with your PfCO, contact our experts on 0330 111 8800 or submit your query below:

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