Drone OSC Writing Consultancy
tel: 07774 585968
Wouldn't it be great if you could write your own rules?
An operational safety case (OSC) is a process which allows you to gain an exemption from the regulations which govern drone/ UAV/ UAS operations. An OSC allows you as the operator to write your own rules, however the exemption will only be granted if you can prove you can operate safely. To apply for an OSC you will need to write a three volume Operations Manual in accordance with the guidelines in the CAA's CAP722 document. You will also need to present sufficient safety arguments and mitigations to satisfy the CAA that the risks are tolerable.
What can i apply for?
The great thing about an OSC is that you can apply for any exemption that you like. During your initial discovery call we will discuss with you your exact requirements, and we will tailor your application and the mitigations you put in place to meet your needs and the safety targets for your organisation.
Most of the OSCs we have completed for our clients fall within one or more of the following categories:
What do the CAA require?
In order to obtain an OSC from the CAA you will need to submit documentation which provides evidence that you are able to operate safely and in accordance with the exemption you have applied for. CAP722 provides guidance on how you should do this, and requires you to write a three volume Operations Manual which is applicable to your organisation and its drone operation:
Volume 1 contains your company structure, policies and procedures, and should include items such as Health and Safety, staff training, maintenance, flight planning and operating procedures.
Volume 2 contains information regarding the equipment which you intend to operate, as well as its safety features, single points of failure, safety record and redundancy.
Volume 3 contains your risk assessment and safety arguments which prove to the CAA that the procedures and equipment in Volumes 1 & 2 ensure that you can operate safely.
Additional Supporting Evidence
In addition to the three volumes, it is recommended that a set of supporting evidence is submitted as this can greatly increase your chances of achieving the best possible OSC exemption from the CAA. The evidence that you submit is largely dependent upon the exemptions you are applying for as well as the nature of your operation. We know what the CAA look for in an application, and can therefore help you submit evidence which is best suited to ensuring you achieve your goals.
How can we help?
When you commission us to help you with your OSC application, we go through a 5 step process which usually takes approximately 12 weeks from start to finish. We are happy to provide you with some advice and consultancy if you choose to write your own OSC, however most of our clients opt for our fully managed service which comprises of the following steps:
The first stage of the OSC process is to run a one-to-one consultation with you. In this consultation we will talk through your requirements, your application and your organisation so that we understand you, your business, its policies and its needs. We will at this stage ask for all your current documentation and review it fully before progressing.
Assessment of Risk
Once we understand your business and its requirements, we will then complete an assessment of your risks. This may be completed informally or if your application is more complex, we may undertake failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) or equivalent methodologies for assessing this risk. Once the risks are assessed we will then move onto helping you develop your mitigations.
The mitigation development phase is where we develop the set of mitigations which provide the safety case to the CAA. We will schedule a series of meetings with you to determine what mitigations should be applied using the ALARP methodology. We aim to make sure that the mitigations are effective without hampering your operation. We do not want to lumber you with unnecessary work, unless it is required.
Once we have a high level view of the major risks and mitigations for your operation, we will then start putting together your documentation. Any relevant information in your existing manual will be incorporated, and a brand new formatted manual will be developed which is structured in a way that makes it easy for the CAA to assess. Any additional evidence will be compiled ready for submission to the CAA.
After about 30 working days, you should hear back from the CAA with your initial offer. Often the CAA can miss vital evidence during their assessment and so we aid you during your discussions to point out this evidence in your submission. Once a final offer has been received, Fleet UAS shall make the necessary amendments prior to the CAA making their final decision.
Why choose us?
There are approximately 116 operators in the UK who have been successful in their OSC application to date. Around 15% of those who have been successful have used our OSC writing services. Below are the reasons why people choose us:
Our services let you focus on what you do best
A majority of our clients realise that to build a successful drone business they need to focus on what they do best. This is why Fleet UAS has developed a fully managed OSC writing service which gives you peace of mind and simplifies the process. Sometimes companies ask for our help after they have already started drafting their own OSC, either due to a lack of time, or because they had their application rejected. Whatever stage of the process you are at, we can help.
Reduce the risk of being rejected
Fleet UAS takes pride in its 100% success rate. None of our clients have had their OSC applications rejected and all of our clients have been pleased with the outcome of their application. If we do not think your expectations are realistic, we will tell you before you commission our services. We will tell you what you are likely to be eligible for, and take the worry out of your application. Our goal is to ensure you achieve your goals.
Receive expert advice, and improve the safety of your operation
Our drone safety expert was one of the first 10 people in the UK to have an OSC approved and has been writing OSC's for over 5 years. He built one of the leading drone companies in the UK, and therefore understands the risks within large operations. During the course of your project, your business will gain far more than a permission. You will get advice on how to improve the safety and efficiency of your operation from one of the UK's leading experts.
Obtain a better permission
Many operators fail to present sufficient evidence to show why they deserve the very best set of permissions that they might be eligible for. We know what the CAA look for when assessing OSC applications, and we use this knowledge to present the very best possible case to the CAA. We help you to develop your procedures to make them watertight and efficient, and we evidence your competence in a way that is clear. This ensures that you get the very best set of permissions.
Our OSCs are tailored specifically to your organisation
During the consultation, we gather lots of data from you about how you currently operate, what you are trying to achieve, and what kind of risk tolerance you are prepared to take. Larger organisations tend to be more risk averse, and require better governance to monitor the activities of their team. We believe that your Operations Manual is an investment, not just a hoop to jump through, and so we make sure that it properly reflects your business and its goals.
Compliment with training
Fleet UAS provides a range of training services to help prepare your team to operate under your new set of permissions. We can either provide this training to you directly, or we can train your internal team to carry out this training themselves. Whilst not compulsory, this will help to ensure your pilots are operating safely, and in some circumstances this can help you obtain a better permission from the CAA. We will tell you prior to quotation if we think this is appropriate.
Have some more questions?
tel: 07774 585968
How long does the process take?
The CAA are currently quoting 30 working days (6 weeks) to assess an application, however this can often turn into 8 weeks if you include the negotiation. We aim to write your Operations Manual within 6 weeks, however this does depend on several factors. Therefore you could expect the process to take around 12-14 weeks to complete. We provide an estimated timescale in all quotations.
***Due to COVID-19, the CAA are currently taking longer than normal to approve applications, however this is only like to increase your project timescale by a few weeks***
How much does it cost?
This can vary on a number of factors, including the number of aircraft you want included, the nature of your application and the current format of your Operations Manual. We normally provide a quote on a fixed price basis, and this is calculated based on an estimate of the number of days to complete the work. We can work on a day rate if that is better suited to your needs. Please get in touch to discuss the possibilities.
How will the new EASA regulations affect my OSC?
There is a lot of uncertainty around the new EASA regulations, however an OSC helps to remove this uncertainty. As per CAA guidance, under EASA any OSC will be converted into an operational authorisation within the 'specific' category, and so you will be able to continue to use your permission without any changes to your operation. Your OSC permission is specific to you, and the CAA have made it clear that any OSC will remain in force, whether the UK adopts EASA or not. The only change you might see is when you renew, the wording of your permission will use the words "operational authorisation" instead of "permission".
Meet Our Expert
James Dunthorne - OSC Consultant
James Dunthorne is our operational safety case expert, with over 5 years worth of experience writing OSCs and managing large, high risk drone operations. James has worked with companies to write OSCs for a range of different exemptions including, BVLOS, swarming, reduced distances, increased flying height, EVLOS and working near crowds. He has done this for a variety of companies from freelance pilots to multi-nationals.
James studied drone safety and BVLOS regulation during his PhD studies, and has 5 years experience setting up and managing one of the UK's largest drone surveying companies. He has a strong working relationship with the CAA, and sits on the drone industry action group (DIAG), the CAA's unmanned electronic conspicuity working group (UECWG), and drone committees for BSI and ISO.