Standard scenario STS-02 for drones

Standard scenario STS-02 for drones

Standard scenario STS-02 for drones

The EASA has defined so-called standard scenarios to facilitate the use of drones outside the requirements of the OPEN category and to minimize the bureaucracy for the release of corresponding missions. In this article we deal with the requirements of the Standard scenario STS-02 for drones.

Anyone who wants to operate their drone outside the framework of the OPEN category automatically falls into the SPECIFIC or even the CERTIFIED category. This means a lot of effort in the form of risk assessments, ConOPs (operations manual) and of course obtaining the appropriate operating permits.

Since the number of flights in the SPECIFIC category will also increase with the increasing spread of UAVs in the professional segment, the EU wants to reduce the associated effort by using so-called standard scenarios. These provide a fixed framework and allow users to take various steps that would be necessary in an individual case including SORA

Tip: You can find all the basics for standard scenarios for using UAVs in the SPECIFIC category in our detailed STS guide.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. If anything is unclear, EASA, the competent aviation supervisory authority or a specialist lawyer should always be consulted directly. We expressly accept no liability or guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the information. The research was carried out to the best of our knowledge and belief. Use of the information is expressly at your own risk.

Standard scenario STS-02 for drones Contents

Examples of the use of Standard scenario STS-02 for drones
Specifications and conditions of the standard scenario STS-02
How does the application for a permit work for the STS-02 scenario?
Costs for processing the declaration of operation according to STS-02
How long is the approval based on the standard scenario valid?
final word
Frequently asked questions about the STS-01
Examples of the use of drones in STS-02
The second standard scenario published by EASA is called STS-02 and has been defined for the BVLOS operation of drones with an airspace observer in a controlled ground area over a sparsely populated area.

EU Drone Rules Teaser STS-02
Operating UAVs outside of the remote pilot’s line of sight automatically falls out of the OPEN category. The conditions of the SPECIFIC category then automatically apply. With the STS-02, EASA offers a standard scenario that also enables drones to fly BVLOS.

Drones that are certified according to class C6 offer a solution here. As part of the use of a standard scenario, they enable the use of drones outside of the remote pilot’s range of vision, but always in the view of an observer (short AO for Airspace Observer), over sparsely populated areas.

Examples of use cases would be:

Test operation of drones or RC models out of sight (e.g. range test, antenna test)
Vegetation analysis of large arable land
Creation of maps in hilly terrain
Specifications and conditions of the standard scenario STS-02
Similar to the sub-categories A1, A2 and A3 in the OPEN category, the STS-02 provides strict specifications within which operations in the SPECIFIC category must take place in order to be covered by the standard scenario.

Summary of the STS-02 V1
The following general requirements must be observed:

the maximum flight altitude may be 120 m (AGL).
Exception: Artificial obstacles (e.g. wind turbines) may be flown over by the UAV up to 15 m above the highest point of the obstacle if the lateral distance between the UAV and the obstacle is less than 50 m and if the obstacle is more than 105 m high. The prerequisite for this is that the owner of the structure has agreed to this overflight.
the flight must be over a controlled ground area. This consists of the flight area (flight geography area), a safety area (continceny area) and a risk buffer (risk buffer). This area must be secured / cordoned off by the remote pilot.
The size of the risk buffer depends on the characteristics of the UAV during deceleration and must be large enough to also cover the distance that the drone would travel to a standstill in the event of an “emergency stop” (based on the manufacturer’s information).
a drone certified according to drone class C6 must be used.
the drone must have Remote ID enabled.
the drone must have a geo-fencing system that prevents it from leaving the defined flight area.
the long-distance pilot must have completed the relevant STS certificate and related practical training.
corresponding insurance cover must exist.
In addition, there are these requirements for operation outside of the line of sight:

visibility at the flight location must be at least 5 km.
the drone must be in the direct line of sight of the remote pilot during take-off and landing (except in the case of an emergency landing)
without airspace observer:
The drone is allowed to move a maximum of 1 km away from the remote pilot and must automatically follow a predefined flight path (e.g. waypoint mission) during the BVLOS phases of the flight.
with one or more airspace observer(s):
Long-distance pilots and airspace observers must have adequate coverage of the mission area and the visibility must also be at least 5 km in the airspace observer’s area.
Remote pilot and observer may be separated by a maximum of 1 km.
the drone may move a maximum of 2 km away from the remote pilot
the drone may move a maximum of 1 km away from the observer who is closest to the drone
there must be no gaps in the area covered by the observers.
Effective communication must be ensured between remote pilot and observer(s).
There are a few things to consider when evaluating visibility. EASA defines visibility as “the shortest distance from the position of the remote pilot, or from the position of each of the [observers] (if deployed) at which unilluminated objects by day and clearly illuminated objects by night can be seen and identified.” from English.)

It relates in all directions around the pilot and observers. In addition, disruptive factors such as sources of glare (sun, lighting), obstacles in the area, the cloud base and smoke / vapor must also be taken into account.

How does the application for a permit work for the Standard scenario STS-02 for drones?
It will be possible to apply for the STS-02 (as for all EU STS) from January 1st, 2024.

A flight based on a standard scenario will be displayed using a standardized form. The LBA will certainly provide its own German form for this. These LBA forms already exist for the PDRA (see here for PDRA-S02).

EASA has already published a sample form: Download Application Form STS-02 (EASA).

Costs for processing the declaration of operation according to STS-02
According to the LuftKostVO (Aviation Costs Ordinance), the costs for checking a submitted operating declaration amount to 200 euros.

How long is the approval based on the standard scenario valid?
According to current information, the declaration of operation will be valid for a maximum of two years after approval by the LBA.

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