Risk assessments are to be conducted by the Operations Director for any activity that falls outside the stringent requirements of the Operations Manual (i.e. there is a variance on a required operating procedure). Remedial action is to be taken to ensure that the residual risk is as low as reasonably practicable (the tolerable risk), and a written record of the risk assessment process is to be maintained.

The following matrix identifies the relationship between the different components of risk management that shall be used by ‘UAVpix’:

UAVpix-risk-UAVpix Risk Assessment Matrix
Tolerable risk shall be determined by the search for absolute safety contrasted against factors such as:

  • the inherent safety hazards of operating UAV
  • available resources
  • the conventions of the society where flight operations are taking place
  • cost effectiveness.

It follows that there is therefore a need to continually review the tolerable risk that underpins the concept behind UAV flight operations in a particular environment.

Tolerable risk shall be achieved by the iterative process of risk assessment (risk analysis and risk evaluation) and risk reduction using the following procedure:

  • identify the likely affected individuals or property where a risk has been identified
  • identify the intended use and assess the reasonably foreseeable misuse of the activity, procedure or equipment
  • identify each hazard (including any hazardous situation and harmful event) arising in all stages of the process
  • estimate and evaluate the risk to each identified user or group
    judge if that risk is tolerable (e.g. by comparison with other risks to the user and with what is acceptable to society)
  • if the risk is not tolerable then reduce the risk until it becomes tolerable

When conducting the risk reduction process, the order of priority should be as follows:

  • inherently safe design of equipment and processes;
  • use of ‘Fail to Safe’ equipment and systems, where appropriate
  • appropriate and effective training of staff
  • information for the affected community