• Frequently Asked Questions

    The short answer is that you will be able to distinguish your quality services from the thousands of other commercial RPAS operators. Large corporate clients and government agencies have their reputation and goodwill to protect and are prepared to pay for guaranteed quality RPAS services. In sucessfully completing a UAS International Standard (UIS) audit and being registered on the Panel of Approved UAS Operators you will be able to differentiate your organisation’s specialist RPAS services from the many thousands of commercial operators in the market.
    The UAS International Standard (UIS) was the world’s first international RPAS standard having been released in February 2015 at the Avalon Airshow. The UIS has been developed by recognised leaders in RPAS certification and regulation and is fast becoming ‘the’ standard when it comes to safety and quality assurance of RPAS Operators. UAS International is an Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium (ARC) member organisation. ARC executives are finalising a strategic alliance with one of the Big Four professional services firms to provide drone powered solutions globally through their international network. Clients seeking drone powered solutions will become Registered Member Organisations (RMO) under the UIS Program. RMOs will only retain the services of RPAS operators that are on the Panel of Approved UAS Operators. In February 2018 – to coincide with the release of Phase 2 of the UIS – this firm will host a major RPAS industry event and a media campaign will be launched to further promote the standard and the Panel of Approved UAS Operators to major corporations, government agencies and local councils.
    Once approved on the UIS Panel of Approved UAS Operators, you will be able to offer those RPAS services in the type of aircraft that you have been audited against (including any specialist categories of operation you may have nominated) and demonstrated conformance with under the UIS Program. UASi will work with RMOs to help them understand the range and specialisation of the services they can access, and expand their understanding of the opportunities within the RPAS sector. Through the Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium, UASi will work to support RMOs and Approved UAS Operators who seek to undertake large-scale and complex RPAS assignments.
    As an RPAS operator although you have an RPAS Operators’ Certificate (ReOC) issued by CASA, at UAS International we realised that many large organisations in industry sectors such as media, construction, local council, agriculture, resource and mining require additional safety assurance apart from the holding of a CASA ReOC. While the UIS Standards ensure compliance with all the CASA regulatory standards under CASR Part 101, the UIS draws on world’s best practice which goes beyond the CASA requirements. Conformance with the UIS also demonstrates a higher level of professionalism to the aviation industry and the community at large. UASi have found that large organisations and government agencies require higher-level and independent (third-party) assurance that contracted RPAS services will be carried out safely, responsibly and in accordance with all applicable regulations. Back in 2014 UASi, in partnership with QBE Australia, developed the UAS International Standard to provide a universal standard for the RPAS sector. Registered Member Organisations will then be assured that the RPAS operators they retain will meet or exceed these standards and can therefore provide a safe and responsible service.
    Simply pre-register online at http://register.uasinternational.com/ and pay a registration fee of $100 (+GST). On the basis of the information you provide in the pre-registration, the UIS Program Office (UPO), upon receipt of your registration, will review your application and assess your organisation as being either a Tier 1, 2 or 3 operator according to the following criteria:

    • Tier 1 operators are the larger more complex RPAs (more than 150kg take-off weight)
    • Tier 2 operators are Certified RPAS operators that operate unmanned aircraft of less than 150kg take-off weight. (Tier 2 operators represent the vast majority of organisations registered on the Panel of Approved Operators.)
    • Tier 3 operators are Certified RPAS operators that only operate unmanned aircraft of less than 2kg take-off weight.

    If your organisation satisfies all the application requirements you then need to formally register and agree to undertake a UIS Audit conducted by a Certified UIS Auditor. Tier 1 and Tier 2 operators are required to undertake onsite audits – one auditor/ one-half day for Tier 2 and two auditors/two days for Tier 1 operators.

    The cost of the audit will depend upon whether your organisation is classified as either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 operator. The majority of UIS audited RPAS operators will be classified as Tier 2 – that is operating drones less that 150 kg and some providing specialists services beyond the standard CASA restrictions. The basic audit fee for a Tier 2 Audit is $3,500 (+GST). If the operator wishes to nominate additional specialists services – for example, asset inspection, mapping, spraying and seeding, transportation etc – then there is a supplementary fee component of $500 (+GST) to be audited for each of these specialists areas.

    The cost of your application fee will be deducted from the Audit fee.

    Most reputable and professional RPAS operators are likely to already meet most of the applicable UIS International Standards. The best way to prepare for an assessment or audit is to review the relevant program documentation. Upon application and payment of the $100 (+ GST) application fee, you will be provided with a link to our cloud-based audit standard through the Salesforce platform. You will then have access (through your Salesforce link)to all the standards (both general standards and any specialist operational categories you may have nominated) against which you will be audited.
    For Tier 2 operators there are approximately 140 core audit standards and an additional 15 or so standards for each specialist category nominated (if any). By way of example, the following are samples of the type of standards against which you must show conformance:

    Core Audit Standards :

    UIS Standard U612.05B: Operators conducting non ATC communicative VLOS operations must ensure the broadcast strength of radios used to convey of short range periodical messages to alert airspace users is of adequate strength and not subject to shielding.

    UIS Standard U11.05: Due to the risk of interference of the C2 datalink the Operator must ensure that there is a means to test or confirm that no harmful RF interference is present prior to and during flight. This requirement also applies to VLOS operations.

    UIS Standard A4.05C: If required by the local regulator the C2 datalink is certified for RLOS and BLOS operations.

    UIS Standard A9.06A: If approved to conduct flights beyond VLOS (BVLOS) of the remote pilot or RPAS observer, a means to detect and avoid traffic and all other hazards such as hazardous meteorological conditions, terrain and obstacles must be available to the remote pilot. Prior to conducting BVLOS operations, coordination must be effected with the ATC units involved regarding:

    a) any operational performance limitations or restrictions unique to the RPA (e.g. unable to perform standard rate turns);

    b) any preprogrammed lost C2 datalink flight profile and/or flight termination procedures; and c) direct telephone communication between the RPS and the ATC unit(s) for contingency use, unless otherwise approved by the ATC unit(s) involved.

    UIS Standard S6.04E: An RPAS Operator must ensure its personnel are properly qualified and competent to perform their allocated tasks and discharge their responsibilities. Such personnel should have the necessary set of competencies and related knowledge, skills and qualifications to demonstrate they have, commensurate with the scope of their duties in relation to RPAS operations, the requisite:

    a) theoretical knowledge;

    b) practical skill (including minimum experience requirements); and

    c) qualifications (if applicable).

    UIS Standard S6.03A: The RPAS operator must have documented training processes that includes, as a minimum, the following items:

    a) a program of initial and recurrent training to ensure continuing competence of its personnel;

    b) training should be provided to all personnel assigned to, or directly involved in, ground and flight operations; and

    c) the processes must ensure that all personnel have demonstrated their competence in their particular duties and are aware of their responsibilities and the relationship of such duties to the operation as a whole (commensurate with the size of the organisation).

    UIS Standard SY6.04C: An RPAS operator must establish a system of record-keeping that allows adequate storage and reliable traceability of all activities developed, covering at a minimum:

    a) operator’s organisation;

    b) SMS

    c) personnel training and competence verification;

    d) documentation of all management system key processes;

    e) maintenance records; and

    f) security management records.

    Specialist Category Standards :

    Asset Inspection :

    UIS Standard AS1.04: The Operator must have a training program or assessment process to demonstrate knowledge of the effects of radio frequency(RF) and electro magnetic (EM) radiation interference on RPAS operations. 

    Photography :

    UIS Standard PH2.04: If the Operator conducts cinematography, then it must ensure at least dual-operators are used whereby the aircraft if piloted separated to the camera operator. 

    Transportation :

    UIS Standard TR3.04: If the Operator conducts transport of dangerous goods, it must attain and retain on file any relevant induction, licensing and/or training requirements specific to the handling of dangerous goods.

    Records must be stored in a manner that ensures protection from damage, alteration and theft. Note: Each UIS standard is prefixed with either U (unmanned), A (aircraft), S (systems) or for specialised categories (AS, MO, MA, PH, SP, TR).

    RPAS Operator Profile

    When you have access to your customised UIS Audit Checklist you then need to:

    1. Show you have documented policies, procedures and practices in respect to each standard: Which you will pre-populate in the Audit Checklist by reference to your Operations Manual and other company documentation prior to the audit, including uploading documents such as your CASA certificate and insurance policies etc;
    2. Provide objective evidence to the auditor during the audit that each standard has been implemented into your organisation’s operating systems and standard procedures;
    3. In the case of standards that are ‘Not Applicable’ to your operations then you will enter ‘N/A’ against that standard.

    After application you will also need to nominate principal contact person an UASi will provide details of the assigned Certified UIS Auditor(s). The assigned UIS Auditor and the UIS Program Office (Audit Program Manager) can assist with your audit preparation.

    Tier 1 and 2 audits are conducted onsite, but you will need to provide further details in advance (as described above by listing references from your organisation’s documentation on the Audit Checklist and by uploading certain documents onto Salesforce, eg insurance policies, operating certificates etc). You will also need to provide details of the experience and qualifications of your operational personnel, nature of previous assignments undertaken, details of your safety systems and your organisation’s policies, procedures and practices. In preparing for your audit the UIS Program Office will assist you, along with your assigned UIS Certified Auditor (UCA), who will be an experienced aviation lead auditor and who has undertaken an approved (ISO 9001 certified) RPAS Lead Auditor Training Course. The assigned auditor may require additional information relating to the nature of the services you are offering – for example, specialist aerial photography or pipeline and powerline inspections. When registered onto the Panel of Approved UAS Operators, it is those services in respect to the Tier (1, 2 or 3) of operations against which you have been audited and (if applicable) any specialist operational categories that you will wish to offer to the RMOs.
    The short answer is ‘No’. UASi does not want all certified RPAS operators on the Panel – UASi just want the very best. Only those RPAS operators that can demonstrate conformance to the UIS Standard and ongoing compliance with the UIS Code of Conduct will be registered on the Panel of Approved UAS Operators. This is the safety assurance of the UIS Program upon which the RMOs rely. Insisting upon and maintaining high standards guarantees the integrity of the UIS Program and enhances its standing and reputation with the industry, the general public and with safety regulators. Maintaining high standards is how the UIS Program distinguishes between professional RPAS operators from the rest. Maintaining high industry standards also helps to protect the integrity and reputation of the emerging commercial RPAS sector so that it can further develop and grow – but to do so professionally and responsibly. In gaining registration on the Panel of Approved UAS Operators your organisation will be able to promote and market the attainment of this standard and your organisation will be immediately recognisable to high  value clients as a reputable and professional RPAS operator. Additionally your organisation will benefit from UASi’s marketing of the UIS Program and promoting your organisation’s participation in the UIS Program and through the marketing activities of the Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium (ARC).
    The terms of retainment and the remuneration you receive for each assignment under the UIS Program will be specified in an individual UIS Services Contract. Apart from your obligation to comply with the terms of your AUO agreement and compliance with the UIS Code of Conduct in the performance of your services the financial arrangements for each assignment is determined in accordance with your usual pricing policies. Under the terms and conditions of UASi’s membership of the Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium (ARC), the UIS Services Contract will be between your organisation and the ARC. As the client RMO that has requested your services through the ARC will require certain terms in the agreement, for example, minimum insurance coverage, these will be included in the UIS Services Contract with ARC. As the RMOs under the UIS Program are seeking higher levels of safety and professional assurance your quote for each assignment will likely reflect the high level of specialisation that your organisation provides knowing you will not be undercut by operators providing sub-standard RPAS services. Under the terms of the UIS Services Contract the ARC will provide assurances of payment in accordane with the agreed schedule.
    Yes. All RMOs (as a condition of their registration) require that every operator must have adequate insurance for each assignment undertaken under the UIS Program. Details of the required insurance cover are included in the UIS Services Contract for each individual assignment. The good news regarding insurance is that QBE provides a rebate to QBE policy holders for operators that are registered on the Panel of Approved UAS Operators.
    Your relationship and dealings with your existing clients will remain unchanged. In being audited and registered on the UIS Panel of Approved UAS Operators you will be able to expand your client base by utilising UASi’s unique access to the high-value clients within the RMO group. The one proviso is that if your existing client is or becomes an RMO, the RPAS services you provide to this client can only be offered through the UIS Program, but in respect to your existing clients no UASi Management Fee will apply. This requirement is a condition that all RMOs have agreed to in becoming a registered member of the UIS Program and is their ongoing guarantee of a consistent and high standard for all RPAS service providers they retain.
    As of the beginning of 2018 with the launch of the new Phase 2 of the UIS Audit Program, UASi will become actively involved in promoting the standard and the Panel of Approved UAS Operators. UASi personnel will present and exhibit at major RPAS conferences in the Asia-Pacific region and as a member organisation of the Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium. As a registered operator on the Panel of Approved UAS Operators you will be able to use the accreditation logo when responding to tenders and in your own advertising to demonstrate to our customers that you conform to a standard that is world’s best practice.