Introduction to UAV Safety
The safety of other aircraft and the general public is paramount above all else. Transport Canada, Flight Operations, has developed extensive checklists to verify the quality of all Safe Flight Operations Certificate applications submitted by contractors. Firefox Enterprises International Inc. has taken the standards to the next level to ensure the best possible safety program and to set the standard for unmanned aerial vehicle safety in Canada. We have been working towards and will be applying for a SECOR (Small Employer Certificate of Recognition) in the coming months. We are also in the process of developing a standardized system for unmanned aerial vehicle management and deployment. These features make Firefox Enterprises International Inc. stand above the rest with Flight Mission Safety.
As mentioned above, Firefox Enterprises International Inc. is working on setting the bar for Safe Flight Missions (operations). See below for a list of required documents and checklists that must be reviewed and/or completed prior to any flight mission:
- Site Survey
- Flight Mission Deployment
- Mission and Flight logs
- Standard Briefings
- Hazard assessment
- Safety meeting
- Scope change management
All employees of Firefox Enterprises International Inc. that are involved in the Autonomous Robotic Vehicle – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ARV-UAV) division of the Company are required to use and follow the protocols to ensure the safest working environment for everyone.
It is the responsibility of all Firefox Enterprises International Inc. employees, subcontractors, associates and visitors to openly and honestly report any incidents, near misses and hazards following the incident and hazard reporting process laid out in the Firefox Enterprises International Inc. health and safety manual. Firefox Enterprises International Inc. realizes the value of managing operations to a level greater than the expected criteria as provided through legislation by Canadian and International standards organizations. Our company policy reflects the higher level standards that have been adopted, developed and refined to exceed the Canadian Aviation Regulations and International standards. The corporate standards were developed referencing ‘Best Practices’ provided by the various Canadian Flight Information Region UAV Best Practices for Air Traffic Services Coordination. This has allowed Firefox Enterprises International Inc. to develop high standards for operational safety.
Site surveys play a key role in ensuring safe flight missions and maintaining Firefox Enterprises safety standards to the highest level. The purpose of the site survey is to determine the scope of work and the hazards that are associated with the work. A site survey is required prior to any and all flight missions.
The purpose of completing a site survey is to ensure that the flight crew can conduct safe Flight Missions. The primary safety concerns for any flight mission are:
- Safety of manned aircraft
- Safety of the flight crew
- Safety of the general public
- Flight Mission planning
A comprehensive site survey will ensure that Flight Mission personnel know the safe flight limits.
Site Survey Types
Site Surveys are require prior to all Flight Missions. There are two types of site surveys:
- Standard Site Surveys
- Short Notice Site Surveys
Standard Site Surveys
Standard Site Surveys will normally be completed one to two weeks prior to conducting the Flight Mission, but no less than 72 hours prior to any flight mission. The 72 hour window allows time for the Flight Mission Manager to compile the information collected during the survey and contact an ATS and the Client to facilitate coordination of Flight Mission activities.
Coordination is required to fly in Class C, D and E airspace when Flight Missions are within the 4.86 NM (9.0 Km) radius of an aerodrome. Communication will be established with the local ATS to coordinate Flight Missions.
Short Notice Site Surveys
Short Notice Site Surveys are completed within 72 hours of, or immediately prior to (same day), the Flight Mission. Generally speaking, short notice site surveys are conducted when a high priority Flight Mission is required, such as an emergency response mission, or when a Client requires any other type of Flight Mission on short notice.
Any person completing a site survey is to have completed the Firefox ARV UAV Site Survey Primer training or have been sufficiently mentored by experienced personnel.