RPAS Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment is the first step in any Safety Management System

It forms a significant part in any UAV Operator’s Certificate application and as such, such an analysis must be comprehensive and professionally compiled.

RTS aids and trains our clients in the completion of risk assessments. Our RPAS Safety Management Software can be utilised in order to streamline and simplify the process further.

The RPAS Operator and the RPA controller are obligated to perform a risk assessment at multiple stages of an operation in order to evaluate the tasks and related risks to be completed. 

The Job Risk Assessment should be performed during the feasibility planning phase to determine if the flight is viable. It should then be re-validated on the day prior to  the flight. Any assumptions made during the initial Job Risk Assessment (such as forecast weather/wind, location of persons etc.) should be confirmed.

Risk ValuesRisk LevelAction RequiredTime Allowed(Recommended)
80 – 100Very HighDiscontinue, StopImmediate
60 – 79HighImmediate Correction1 Week
40 – 59SubstantialCorrection Required2 Weeks
18 – 39PossibleAttention Needed3 Weeks
1 – 17SlightPossibly Acceptable4 Weeks
0NoneNone 

The Risk Assessment involves calculating a risk factor based on the severity of any undesired outcome, the probability (likelihood) of that outcome and the exposure to the perceived threat. Where the risk factor is unacceptably high a mitigating factor or control measure is needed to reduce the probability likelihood or consequence to manage the risk back to an acceptable level/factor. Even if the risk is acceptable you should consider any factor that could be applied to reduce the risk further.

Please note, a risk is NOT acceptable if only YOU decide so. It depends on ALL parties involved, including the public!

A risk assessment needs to include potential factors such as:

  • Bird Strikes
  • Pilot and spotter / cameraman loses sight of the RPA
  • The pilot has a medical emergency
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Take-off and Landing operations
  • Incorrect assembly of aircraft parts
  • Radio interference

Other topics to be addressed with Risk Assessments include:

  • Determining the Risk
  • Risk Management
  • Validation of Risk Assessments
  • Identification of the severity / consequences of the event
  • Probability or Likelihood of the event occurrence
  • Exposure to an occurrence
  • The calculated Risk Value