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Shared Skies: Safe Integration of Remotely Piloted Aircraft. Captain Sean Cassidy 1 st Vice President National Safety Coordinator. Single High Level of Safety. Same high level of safety realized today must be maintained with integrated UAS/RPA ops. Magnitude of the Challenge.

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Shared skies safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft

Shared Skies: Safe Integration of Remotely Piloted Aircraft

Captain Sean Cassidy

1st Vice President

National Safety Coordinator

Single high level of safety
Single High Level of Safety

Same high level of safety realized today must be maintained with integrated UAS/RPA ops

Magnitude of the challenge
Magnitude of the Challenge

  • Today: Approximately 7000 commercial piloted aircraft in service in the US

  • Current US RPA activity via COA/exp cert

  • 2035 US estimates (DOT Volpe report):

    • 14,000 DOD RPA

    • 10,000 Federal Agency RPA

    • 70,000 State/local RPA

    • 175,000 Commercial RPA applications

  • Micro (<4.5lb) Small (<55lb) Large (>55lb)

Why is rpa integration important
Why is RPA Integration Important?

To enable us to do things we don’t want to do right now (dull, dirty, dangerous) without adverse safety impact

  • Border patrol/surveillance

  • Law enforcement

  • Remote survey

  • Hazardous commercial operations

    • RMAX, Scan Eagle

Minimum safe standards
Minimum Safe Standards

From SC 228:

…In order to safely integrate these platforms into non-segregated airspace, both a robust Detect and Avoid (DAA) and robust and secure Command and Control (C2) Data Link capability need to be established.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) safely and efficiently into the National Airspace System (NAS).

Estimated Timeline for Phase one MOPS (IFR operations in Class A airspace): July 2016

Beyond the mops
Beyond the MOPS

  • Pilot training & certification

    • Piloting skills

    • Human Factors

    • Licensing that reflects responsibilities

  • Airplanes

    • Maneuvering (ACAS, TAWS, Weather, ATC)

    • Certification

  • Operators

    • SOP, training, maintenance, SMS

Safe integration means harmonization
Safe Integration Means Harmonization

2.9 Identifying the commonalities and differences between manned and unmanned aircraft is the first step

toward developing a regulatory framework that will provide, at a minimum, an equivalent level of safety for the integration of UAS into non-segregated airspace and at aerodromes

2.13 A key factor in safely integrating UAS in non-segregated airspace will be their ability to act and respond as

manned aircraft do….the performance (e.g.

transaction time and continuity of the communications link) as well as the timeliness of the aircraft’s response to ATC

instructions. Performance-based SARPs may be needed for each of these aspects.

Exporting the flight deck to the ground
Exporting the Flight Deck to the Ground

  • All the same functions

    • Flight control

    • Communications

    • Visibility

  • Very different environment

    • Latency, lost link considerations

    • “Gravitas” of remote piloting vs in aircraft

    • Limited sensory input (no seat of the pants, no smells, no “funny noises”)

Qantas flight 32
Qantas Flight 32

  • 3 of 4 engines failed/degraded

  • 54 ECAM messages

  • Damaged wing, failed hydraulics

Cyber security
Cyber Security

  • Hacking

  • Spoofing

  • Jamming

Physical security
Physical Security

  • Hijacking

  • Sabotage

Uas timeline challenges
UAS Timeline Challenges

FMRA 2012: What is the actual expectation for Sept 30, 2015?

Small UAS Rule?

Test sites: How do you evaluate integrated operations while meeting current safety standards?

Relationship with Nextgen Requirements?


UAS/RPA have tremendous potential - a matter of when, not if

For RPA vs “traditional” aircraft, primary distinction is where pilot sits

Legislative deadlines often incompatible with pace of regulatory & technical development

Stakeholder involvement, collaboration critical