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Depending on the nature of the flight and its location, certain checks will need to be carried out and permissions obtained. The timeline below summarises the preparations required in advance of a flight and immediately afterwards.

The remote pilot is responsible for ensuring that all relevant actions are completed. For the items to be done in advance of the flight day, the times shown should be treated as the minimum. Some adjustments may be required - for example, if the flight requires an NSF application, other relevant planning actions should be brought forward to allow the application to be submitted in good time.

Flight documentation should be printed the day before the flight. This is to ensure that the relevant information is available on site even when an internet connection is not available.

28 days in advance

  • Apply for non-standard flight permission if required

7 days in advance

  • Complete viability study
  • Complete site evaluation
  • Complete risk analysis
  • Submit NOTAM if appropriate
  • Carry out a leaflet drop and/or a door-to-door advisory campaign if the flight operation is to take place in a highly populated area, such as a housing estate
  • Inform the local police if the planned flight operation is to take place in areas where there is likely to be members of the public
  • If there is a local air user club nearby, contact the club and enquire about any likely activity on the day of the proposed flight operation
  • Obtain written permission from the relevant landowners or occupiers for the take-off and landing zones
  • Monitor the weather at the site
  • Customise the loading list

24 hours in advance

  • Check that relevant contact numbers are recorded on the site evaluation form
  • Contact ATC if the flight operation is to take place within the flight restriction zone or runway protection zone of a protected aerodrome
  • Make go/no-go decision for the flight based on available weather information
  • Review the loading list
  • Prepare and send crew call sheets
  • Configure UAS if required (e.g. add expansion bays, prepare custom payloads, etc.)
  • Check UAS firmware is up to date
  • Conduct a test flight if necessary
  • Check that the operator id is clearly displayed on the RPA
  • Charge flight batteries, controller(s) and mobile device(s)
  • Customise the site checklist
  • Print flight and UAS documentation as required
    • Permissions and contacts
    • Emergency procedures
    • Customised loading list
    • Customised site checklist
    • UAS assembly instructions
    • Crew briefing notes
    • Pre-flight checklist
    • Post-flight actions checklist

Day of flight

  • Ensure relevant account is logged in (e.g. DJI operator)
  • Pack equipment using the loading list
  • Check for NOTAMs
  • Complete site checklist (including a physical tour of the area)
  • Make go/no-go decision for the flight based on windspeed, weather, presence of uninvolved persons and any unexpected factors
  • Assemble the UAS using model-specific checklist
  • Complete crew briefing
  • Complete pre-flight checks
  • Complete post-flight actions
  • Disassemble the UAS using model-specific checklist and pack equipment

Incidents and emergencies

  • Report an incident through ECCAIRS
  • Report an AIRPROX