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Safety Management System (SMS) for Drones

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When a UAS operator applies for a LUC, they must establish, implement, and maintain a safety management system that corresponds to the size of the organisation and the nature and complexity of its activities, taking into account the inherent hazards and risks associated with such activities.

In this article, we will talk about the “Safety Management System” or SMS, necessary for UAS operators who need to implement a Light UAS Certificate (LUC).

What is the Safety Management System (SMS) for Drones?

The concept of the SMS is to proactively identify hazards and mitigate safety risks before they result into accidents and incidents. Safety management allows a UAS operator to manage its activities in a more systematic and focused way. When an organisation has a clear understanding of its role and contribution to safety, it can prioritise safety risks and manage its resources more effectively to achieve optimal results.

SMS Components for UAS Operators

Safety objectives

At this point, the objectives that the UAS operator wants to achieve in terms of safety are defined, establishing and maintaining the corresponding safety objectives along with their policies.

To achieve these objectives, it will be necessary to appoint key safety personnel, as well as appoint a responsible manager with authority to ensure that all activities are carried out in accordance with applicable standards and that the organisation is continuously in compliance with the requirements of the management system and the procedures identified in the LUC manual.

Safety Risk Management (SRM)

At this point, a safety risk management process must be established and maintained that includes the identification of safety hazards associated with the activities of the UAS operator, as well as their evaluation and the management of associated risks, including taking actions to mitigate these risks and verify the effectiveness of the action. For this:

  • Risk assessments are defined
  • The proactive risk reduction strategy
  • The evaluation of the consequences derived from the risks

Drone Safety Assurance

The procedures followed in the SRM are validated and verified. If these are not working correctly, they should be redefined. For this, the following must be carried out:

  • Operational control
  • Continuous control of “Safety Performance”
  • Internal investigations
  • Control of changes
  • Continuous improvement of the SMS
  • Preparation of safety reports and internal investigations

Promotion of UAS Safety

It consists of how all the culture of safety is transferred to all members of the operator, customers, public, etc. To promote safety in the organization, it must be carried out through:

  • Training and education
  • Communication
These are some of the main points that must be implemented in an SMS in order to achieve a LUC for the UAS operator.

If you need to implement an SMS, at EU Drone Port 🇪🇺 we can offer you everything you need, from implementation to training of the flight operator staff. Do not hesitate to contact us.