SORA application steps
Determine if a SORA application is required
Before you begin, determine if your drone operation requires a SORA application. Open category flying does not require a SORA, while specific operations outside of this category do. You can find more information on the EU flight framework here. Always prefer open category or standard scenario flying: a SORA application is a complex process that can take several months. In case of doubt, you can contact the competent authority in your country.
Prepare the required documents
To submit a SORA application, you must prepare the following documents:
SORA Risk Assessment
The first step in the SORA process is to complete your risk analysis. It is divided into two steps: the ground risk analysis, which boils down to the consequences of a crash, and the air risk analysis, which quantifies the risk of an encounter with another aircraft.
Once these two risks have been determined, you will obtain a synthetic index of the danger of your mission. This is the SAIL (Specific Assurance and Integrity Levels). This index determines the level of security measures that you will need to take to be able to carry out your operation. For example, a SAIL-I exempts the telepilot from training, while a SAIL-II requires it. If your SAIL is too high, there is no need to go any further: your operation may be too risky.
Parrot drones such as the ANAFI USA or the ANAFI Ai can perform SAIL-I and SAIL-II flights. For higher SAILs, it is necessary to use a third party entity to certify the validity of your operation.
The concept of operations (ConOps)
This document specifies the planned operation, the flight limits, the geographical area, the drone used...
Your OM, or operating manual
This is a guide that sets out the procedures and rules to follow to ensure safe and efficient use of the drone.
The OM usually includes information on the configuration of the drone, pre-flight preparation procedures, emergency procedures in case of problems, safety rules to follow, as well as communication protocols with the appropriate authorities.
Finally, it describes the structure of your organization, the training programs for remote pilots and their level of competence.
Risk Management Plan
Once the risk has been estimated, you must now provide evidence of mitigation.