Home >> 
CAAC Issues Guiding Opinions on Operational Risk-based RPAS Airworthiness Certification13/02/2019

In order to promote the healthy growth of the civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) industry in China, CAAC issued the Guiding Opinions on Operational Risk-based RPAS Airworthiness Certification on January 23. In view of the characteristics of RPAS’s diversified operational scenarios and various operational risks, it requires airworthiness management based on operational risks, and pushes forward the development of an airworthiness management mode based on operational risks for RPAS.

According to the Guiding Opinions, an operational risk-based risk classification method for RPAS will be established to carry out classified management of RPAS airworthiness certification. The level of operational risks of civil RPAS will be divided into three categories: low, medium and high. For manufacturers of RPAS with low operational risks, CAAC mainly focuses on registration and ex post supervision; for manufacturers of RPAS with high operational risks, CAAC evaluates specific projects to determine level of involvement; for manufacturers of RPAS with medium operational risks, CAAC reviews risks to determine level of involvement. At the same time, relying on the real-name registration system, in combination with CAAC’s Unmanned Operation Management System (UOM), the RPAS certification module will be constructed to realize fully online application and approval.

China is a big country in terms of design, manufacturing and application of RPASs, which have been widely used in such fields as logistics and freight transportation, agriculture, forestry and plant protection, aerial photography, pipeline inspection, and remote sensing detection. According to the statistics of "Real-Name Registration Information System for Civil RPAS", as of January 24, 2019, about 295,000 RPASs have been registered, of which 25,000 RPASs being ones with the maximum take-off weight from 25kg to 150kg, 571 RPASs being ones of more than 150kg, and 49 RPASs being ones more than 650kg. There are about 268,000 RPAS owners, 3720 types of RPASs and 1239 registered manufacturers and agents.