School of GeoSciences

RPAS Operations Manual

School of GeoSciences Operations Manual for Remotely Piloted Airborne Systems (RPAS also known as UAV's or Drones)

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, also known as UAVs, UAS, and 'drones', are proving to be very useful tools for GeoSciences research, and are becoming widely used throughout the School.

There are, however, a number of safety and regulatory issues that must be taken into account prior to and during RPAS operations.

The Operations Manual below, and the attached appendices, provide a code of practice designed to ensure that all RPAS users within the School of GeoSciences remain safe and legal during such operations, while maintaining as light a touch as possible. The manual takes into account both UK aviation regulations and the requirements of the Health and Safety Executive, as well as frequency management and privacy requirements. The manual outlines a small number of procedures and limitations which must be observed, as well as more general guidance and recommendations for safe practice.

Operation according to the manual will ensure that the University's insurance policy will be considered valid for any such activity. All RPAS users within the School of GeoSciences should please:

  • register intent to operate RPAS with the School
  • attend a short briefing on RPAS safety management and regulatory considerations
  • undertake all operations according to the code of practice outlined within the Operations Manual (including for example appropriate site safety assessments etc).

Details on each of the above are included within the Operations Manual. Further information regarding RPAS operations and regulations are available on the UK CAA website.

Note 1: The School's RPAS Operations Manual is based around UK regulations; if operating overseas then the local regulations must also be observed.

Note 2: Under UK rules, it is not permissible to undertake any form of commercial work with RPAS unless appropriately qualified and approved by the CAA.

For all enquiries, please contact Tom Wade

Content Current as of 12th April 2016


RPAS Operations Manual