Technical Airworthiness Clearance Requirements for Tier 3 Uninhabited Air Vehicle Systems – Type Design and Aeronautical Product

Effective Date: June 2014

Reference: TAM Part 2

OPI / Telephone: DTAES 3-2-3 / 819-939-4839

1.         Purpose

1.1.        This Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) Advisory provides clarification and guidance pertaining to the standards governing the Department of National Defence (DND) Technical Airworthiness Clearance (TAC) requirements for Tier 3 (Micro, Mini, and Small) Uninhabited Air Vehicle Systems (UAS) that will not be operated outside of military Class F restricted airspace.  It also extends to operation of UAS from Royal Canadian Navy ships in international waters under Due Regard operating rules, and to Theatres of Operation, whereby, in both cases, the Canadian Forces or allied military are responsible for maintaining aircraft separation.  Furthermore, special circumstances may be considered for restricted operations in non‑segregated airspace with the approval of the DND TAA and Operational Airworthiness Authority (OAA).

1.2.        While this advisory addresses the TAC requirements within the Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM) for Type Design and Aeronautical Product, it does not follow the standard type certification process defined in the TAM.  However, this process and the Restricted Type Certificate (RTC) can be considered as equivalent to type certification, within the parameters listed in paragraph 1.1. above.

1.3.       For In-Service Support TAC requirements, refer to TAA Advisory 2013‑05 – Continuing Airworthiness Requirements for Uninhabited Air Vehicle Systems (regulatory reference 3.2.d.).

2.         Applicability

2.1.       This TAA Advisory is applicable to organizations seeking TAC for a Tier 3 UAS.

2.2.       This TAA Advisory applies to those Tier 3 UAS that will be put on the Canadian military register, with the designation CU###.  Tier 3 UAS used for a limited time (one year or less) can be granted flight authority using a Specific Purpose Flight Permit.

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3.         Related Material

3.1.        Definitions

  1. Applicant.  A person or organization applying for a Restricted Type Certificate.
  2. Certificate of Conformance (CofC).  A document certifying that a newly manufactured aeronautical product or aviation replacement part has been manufactured in conformance with the applicable approved type design and is in a condition for safe operation.
  3. Contractor. The organization under contract with Canada to provide UAS to Canada.
  4. Due Regard.  When flight operations by State aircraft (military, customs and police services) are not conducted in accordance with ICAO standards and flight procedures, they must be conducted with due regard to the safety of all civil air traffic.  In the case of Tier 3 UAS operating in non‑segregated airspace, procedures are in place to ensure safe separation between the UAV and other aircraft.
  5. Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA).  Instructions for Continued Airworthiness are maintenance instructions that are necessary to keep a UAS in a condition that is fit and safe for flight.
  6. Restricted Type Certificate (RTC).  A document issued by the airworthiness authority to declare that a particular Tier 3 UAS type design is acceptably safe to operate within its defined roles, environment and limitations.  The RTC includes or provides references to the type design data, the Restricted Type Certificate Data Sheet (RTCDS), the Safety Case used to demonstrate an acceptable level of safety and any other conditions or limitations prescribed by the airworthiness authority.
  7. Safety Case (SC).  A structured argument supported by evidence, intended to justify that a UAS is acceptably safe.  This is used in lieu of a certification program where compliance is demonstrated against a set of airworthiness requirements.
  8. Technical Airworthiness Clearance (TAC).  The overall TAC process encompasses those technical airworthiness activities required to declare that an aeronautical product has met the technical requirements of the airworthiness program and that, from a technical airworthiness perspective, it is ready to enter into operational service.  In the DND airworthiness context, DND has designated the TA of the UAS as the Applicant for obtaining a TAC for the UAS fleet from the TAA.  The TAC requirements, as stipulated in the TAM, will be tailored for the UAS based on its future operations as defined in the Statement of Operating Intent (SOI) and Statement of Requirements (SOR).
  9. Technical Airworthiness Data (TAWD).  The information and data contained in the Type Record that is required to safely operate the UAS throughout its approved envelope.
  10. Type Design.  A description of all characteristics of a UAS,  including its design description data, manufacturing processes, limitations and Instructions for Continuing Airworthiness (ICAs).
  11. Uninhabited Air Vehicle (UAV).  A UAV is any uninhabited, powered air vehicle operated remotely and/or autonomously.  Ammunition, projectiles and missiles are not UAVs.
  12. UAV System (UAS).  The UAS includes the UAV, launch and recovery systems, if used, any ground control stations and all communication links.
  13. UAS Control Station (UCS).  A facility or device from which the UAV is controlled and/or monitored for all phases of flight.

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3.2        Regulatory References

  1. A‑GA‑005‑000/AG‑001 – DND/CF Airworthiness Program.
  2. C‑05‑005‑001/AG‑001 – Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM).
  3. Canadian Forces UAV Campaign Plan – March 2006 (available internally within DND, in RDIMS, number AEPM 1378708).
  4. TAA Advisory 2013‑05 – Continuing Airworthiness Requirements for Uninhabited Air Vehicle Systems.

4.         Discussion

4.1.        The DND/CF Airworthiness Program (regulatory reference 3.2.a.) classifies UAS as aeronautical products and, as such, they are subject to regulation under the Airworthiness Program.  The TAA has issued Technical Airworthiness rules and standards applicable to all aeronautical products in regulatory referemce 3.2.b.  The TAM does not contain specific guidance or adjustments to standards to deal with the unique airworthiness requirements associated with UAS.  This TAA Advisory will provide the required guidance on how to apply the airworthiness requirements of the TAM to UAS.  Therefore, Tier 3 UAS are required to meet the RTC and Aeronautical Product requirements for TAC as described in this TAA Advisory.

Information: 1

For UAS, it is possible to minimize risk to other aircraft and individuals on the ground by controlling the airspace (Military Restricted Class F) and area of operation. In addition, some UAS are very small, resulting in very little kinetic energy in the event of an impact with another object.  This rationale is why the TAA can adjust airworthiness requirements for UAS and still maintain an acceptable level of safety.

Information: 2

While the TAA may consider any requests to use the RTC process for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 UAS, at this time, any such request is considered to be out of the scope of this TAA Advisory.

4.2.        This TAA Advisory utilizes the UAS Classification System described in the Canadian Forces UAV Campaign Plan (regulatory reference 3.2.c) as follows:

  1. Tier 1 (Greater than 5000 lb MTOW) – This includes UAS classified as MALE and HALE.
  2. Tier 2 (186 lb to 5000 lb MTOW) – This includes UAS classified as Tactical.
  3. Tier 3 (Less than 185 lb MTOW) – This includes UAS classified as Micro, Mini and Small.

Information: 3

It is recognized that the UAS Tier classification system is arbitrary and it is possible to have a “Tactical UAS” that could also be classified as a “Small UAS”.  In such an instance, the Applicant is advised to seek guidance from the TAA on the applicability of this TAA Advisory to their UAS.

4.3        TAC objectives for a Tier 3 UAS will be achieved through the following elements:

  1. Restricted Type Certificate (paragraph 4.4).
  2. Aeronautical Product (paragraph 4.5).
  3. Continuing Airworthiness (regulatory reference 3.2.d).

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4.4        Restricted Type Certificate (RTC).

4.4.1     General.  A RTC will be issued by the TAA when it has been clearly determined that the UAS design is acceptably safe to operate within its defined roles, environment and limitations.  This assertion will be developed through a Safety Case (SC) that will be built upon the following premises:

  1. The baseline UAS design has been previously authorized for operation by a government or military airworthiness authority acceptable to the DND airworthiness authority.

Information: 4

Airworthiness certification, qualification or other flight authorization supporting documentation from Australia, Canada, the UK, or the USA is acceptable.  Documentation from other sources may be considered acceptable upon review by the TAA.

  1. The UAS has been developed through processes that are mature, appropriate and have been consistently applied.
  2. Hazards have been appropriately addressed when considering systematic design influences such as system integration, software and environment.
  3. The residual risk associated with identified UAS hazards has been defined in the SC.  The RTC will be issued by the TAA upon successful completion of the activities described in paragraphs 4.4.2 to 4.4.4 and upon receipt of the draft Restricted Type Certificate Data Sheet (RTCDS) (paragraph 4.4.5).

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4.4.2     Safety Case (SC).  The SC will be prepared by the applicant and shall contain the following:

  1. System Overview.

(1)        Brief system development history.

(2)        An operational history that must clearly demonstrate the total number of accumulated hours of service in support of operations, identifying the types of operations.

(3)        Reliability summary, which must include:

(a)        Air vehicle loss rate due to technical cause factors with cause factors identified and embodied OEM solutions, if any, to prevent further occurrence.

(b)        A synopsis of technical airworthiness issues and resolution.

  1. System Design.

(1)        A list of the specifications/standards applicable to the system design.

(2)        A structural block diagram for all main systems and subsystems, with accompanying theory of operation.  As a minimum, the following main systems must be described:

(a)        Propulsion.

(b)        Auto-pilot.

(c)        Electrical.

(d)        Command and Control (C2) links.

(e)        UCS.

(f)         Emergency Operation such as lost link, GPS failure, auto-pilot failure.

(g)        Flight Termination System.

(3)        Component software descriptions.

  1. System Safety Assessment (SSA)/Functional Hazard Assessment (FHA). If a SSA, FHA or equivalents have been produced in support of the UAS design, the Applicant shall provide those documents.
  2. Previous Flight Clearances.  The Applicant shall provide details of all existing/previous flight clearances including the following:

(1)        The name of the authority granting the flight clearance.

(2)        A listing of all applicable standards, including any special conditions developed as a result of new or novel design features.

(3)        A listing of all operating restrictions and limitations.

  1. UAS Established Safety Record.

(1)        The Applicant shall provide a Safety Record which identifies the number of technical cause “uncontrolled flight” events per flight hour over a set period of time.  For this purpose, the term “uncontrolled flight” is the loss of UAV control and/or manoeuvrability resulting in flight outside of pre-planned or contingency flight profiles/areas and/or uncontrolled crash due to one or a combination of failure conditions.

(2)        The Applicant shall provide the data and sources of information which substantiate the Safety Record. Data must be from systems used in a configuration and flight profiles that are representative of the proposed system and cover a two-year period ending at Contract Award (CA).

(3)        In addition to the quantitative data on operational in-service experience, the Applicant must also provide the TAA with the underlying causes and any mitigation subsequently applied to address them.

(4)        Ideally, the in-service data will also demonstrate how the system has evolved to reduce the failure rate as design maturity has been acquired.  Of particular interest are failures (or crashes or loss of control) associated with the engine; flight controls (i.e.. servos); GPS failures requiring reversion to dead reckoning; and UCS failures (i.e., software crash).

  1. Risk.

(1)        Identify all potential UAS hazards.

(2)        For those hazards, identify the proposed mitigation (technical limitations, operating restrictions, maintenance actions, etc).

(3)        Identify the residual risk for each hazard that cannot be mitigated to an acceptable level of safety (ALOS).

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4.4.3     TAA On-site Reviews  In order to determine that the proposed UAS design is acceptably safe to operate within its defined roles, environment and limitations, the TAA staff will require access to the body of evidence related to the OEM design and fleet in‑service history.  The process used by the TAA staff to validate the SC will be through review of documents, which will have been delivered to Canada and through TAA on‑site reviews performed at the OEM facility. The Applicant shall establish provisions with the UAS OEM, to allow TAA specialists full access to:

  1. OEM Engineering specialist support.
  2. OEM engineering, technical and certification data, if applicable.
  3. OEM facilities, including office space to conduct meetings and interviews.
  4. OEM Records and reports supporting the Quality and Configuration Management Systems.
  5. OEM organizational processes, procedures and instructions related to the design, development and tests.
  6. Operators' Handbook(s) and Checklists.

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4.4.4     UAS Flight Manual.  The Applicant shall provide a UAS Flight Manual for approval by the TAA that contains the information necessary for safe operation as related to the design, operating or handling characteristics.  The Flight Manual must comply with the following:

  1. Reflect the actual UAS capabilities.
  2. Contain data and procedures sufficient to allow a trained crew to safely operate the UAS.  The data shall include, as a minimum:

(1)        UAV and UCS performance characteristics and system description.  This shall describe the performance to be expected from the aircraft (operating ranges, service ceiling, airspeeds, endurance, etc.) and descriptions of the components associated with the aircraft and ground support equipment (GSE).  Some examples of these components are the airframe, propulsion system, electrical system, flight control system, avionics, data links and communications, navigation systems, payload, autopilot, mission planning tools, imagery processing system, landing system, etc.

(2)        Limitations of all system components (UAV, UCS, C2 Links, etc.) that should detail such information as altitude restrictions, weather limitations/restrictions, launch and recovery, environmental limitations and Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) restrictions.

(3)        Critical and non-critical emergency procedures should be clearly detailed so as to be readily accessible for immediate use.  These should describe the immediate actions to be taken and remedial procedures to be followed in the event of failures in various aircraft systems.  In addition to detailing regular aircraft systems emergency procedures (engine failures, electrical problems, etc.) a detailed description of loss of C2 link procedures and rules of safety must be provided.  This shall describe what actions the crew must take to regain/improve connectivity and what procedures the aircraft will follow on the determination of a loss of C2 link with the UCS.

(4)        Operating procedures for the UAS airborne and ground systems.  This shall include all normal procedures for the entire range of UAS operations to include any initial setup/checkout of the system components, and all pre-flight/in-flight/post flight operating procedures and checks.  Additionally, any warnings and cautions regarding the systems operation should be provided and clearly depicted.

(5)        All TAWD, suitably identified as such in the flight manual.

(6)        The condition and minimum equipment for the system to maintain conformity to meet specification and flight authorization shall be included.  This is sometimes referred to as a Minimum Equipment List.

  1. Properly identify, cross reference and present the system of units used, to prevent any misunderstanding.
  2. Provide a description of how TAWD is identified.
  3. Include a Table of Contents and a list of effective pages.
  4. Display the page number, the revision number and/or change date and number marked on each page.
  5. Comply with the applicable requirements of the TAM Part 2, Chapter 7, Annex A.
  6. Include an appendix containing a Configuration Deviation List (CDL) that is compliant with TAM paragraph 2.1.2 R5, Advisory Note 2.

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4.4.5     Restricted Type Certificate Data Sheet (RTCDS).  Upon successful completion of the activities detailed in paragraphs 4.4.1 to 4.4.4, the Applicant shall provide a completed RTCDS (see Appendix A or contact the advisory OPI to obtain the template) for TAA approval.  The RTCDS must contain at least the following information, including reference to supporting documents:

  1. Model and type designation.
  2. Engine model and type.
  3. Propeller model and type.
  4. Serial numbers eligible.
  5. Approved configurations (including software loads).
  6. SOI reference.
  7. Design information, including:

(1)        All applicable design or airworthiness standards, including any special conditions as a result of a new or novel design feature.

(2)        Any equivalent safety items.

  1. Design operating limitations, including:

(1)        Fuel (military and civilian specification).

(2)        Oil (military and civilian specification).

(3)        Airspeed limits.

(4)        Maximum weights (taxi, maximum take‑off weight (MTOW), landing, zero fuel).

(5)        Centre of gravity limits, datum and levelling means.

(6)        Minimum crew.

(7)        Fuel capacity.

(8)        Maximum operating altitude.

(9)        Outside air temperature limits.

(10)      Placards.

  1. Maintenance requirements:

(1)        A listing of all life‑limited components.

(2)        Certification Maintenance Requirements: those maintenance requirements, which are mandatory inspection tasks, that are designed to detect latent failures that would result in a hazardous or catastrophic event if occurring in combination with one or more other specific events.

(3)        Structural integrity/damage tolerance inspections.

  1. Approved publications:

(1)        Instructions for Continuing Airworthiness (ICA).

(2)        Flight manual and/or operating instructions.

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4.5        UAS Aeronautical Product.

4.5.1     The DND Airworthiness Program requires that the OEM produce each UAS in conformance with the established type design, and that each UAV be registered on the DND Military Aircraft Register and be identified with appropriate markings.

4.5.2     Prior to transfer of title of each UAS to Canada, the Contractor must perform all actions required for obtaining an aircraft registration and flight authority from the regulatory authority governing the Contractor’s operations, such that the UAS can be operated for all applicable testing and acceptance flights.

4.5.3     The Applicant must submit for approval UAV Identification Markings Drawings in accordance with the following:

  1. The Aircraft Finish Scheme and Identification Markings Drawings must show the paint scheme and identification markings for the entire UAV and for each different colour or marking on the UAV.
  2. The drawings must include, as a minimum, the following:

(1)        The colour by paint type and nomenclature.

(2)        The number of coats, the surface preparation, treatment and coatings application processes.

(3)        Any special application instructions.

(4)        The incorporation of the all applicable servicing, maintenance, hazards, and emergency markings as specified at references.

(5)        The coating system and erosion protection for radome and antenna.

(6)        Where decals are to be used, and application instructions for the decals.

  1. Two (2) sets of coloured prints showing the side view, front view, top view and bottom view of the UAV must be provided.  The coloured prints must illustrate the exact location and sizing of the following prominent markings:

(1)        Canada Flag.

(2)        Canada Wordmark.

(3)        Canadian Forces Signature.

(4)        Roundels.

(5)        Last three (3) digits of the aircraft registration numbers located on the nose and wings.

(6)        Full registration number of the aircraft located on the vertical stabilizer below the Canadian Flag for fixed wing UAVs or, for rotary wing UAVs, on the vertical stabilizer or aft section of the aircraft, if possible, below the Canadian flag symbol.

  1. All documents, processes and specifications referenced on the drawings must be provided as part of the drawing package.
  2. Prior to the delivery of the aircraft to Canada, the Contractor shall install appropriate Identification Markings on each UAV in accordance with the drawings approved by Canada.

4.5.4     The TAA will maintain the aircraft registration for each individual UAV on the DND Military Aircraft Register in accordance with Aeronautics Act requirements.  The Applicant must provide the TAA with the serial numbers of all the UAV aircraft scheduled for delivery.  On receipt of the aircraft serial number information, the TAA will place each aircraft on the DND Military Aircraft Register in accordance with regulatory reference 3.2.b, Part 2, Chapter 2, paragraph 2.2.2.S2.

4.5.5     The Applicant must submit a Certificate of Conformance (CofC) for each UAS and for each individual UAV.  The CofC may be in Contractor format and must include the following:

  1. Positive identification of the item by type, class, style, grade, model, part number, description, nomenclature and/or serial number as applicable.
  2. Identification of the applicable approved type design.
  3. The following certification or similarly worded statement:

I certify that the aeronautical product described herein conforms to the specified approved type design and is in a condition for safe operations.

  1. Identification of both the approval authority and the organisation.
  2. For each UAV, a statement that the UAV has been flight checked.
  3. For each UAV engine, a statement that the engine has been subjected by the Contractor to a final operational check.  The CofC must be approved by a Contractor representative authorized by the Contractor, such as an authorized Quality Assurance representative.

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4.6        Flight Authority.

4.6.1     The TAA will not issue CofA for UAS operating under a RTC.  Instead, a complete listing of serial numbers for air vehicles and ground control stations shall be recorded on the RTCDS, in accordance with paragraph of this TAA Advisory, which is an acceptable alternative to the CofA in accordance with regulatory reference 3.2.b Part 5, Chapter 7, paragraph 5.7.2S2.(2).

4.7        Technical Airworthiness Clearance.

4.7.1     The following is required in order for the TAA to grant TAC for the UAS:

  1. RTCDS.
  2. TAA‑approved UAV Identification Markings Drawings.
  3. CofC for each UAS.
  4. Completion of the requirements of TAA Advisory 2013-05 – Continuing Airworthiness Requirements for Uninhabited Air Vehicle Systems (regulatory reference 3.2.d).

4.7.2     The TAC Report will be prepared by TAA staff and it will include the following information:

  1. Executive Summary, briefly outlining the scope of the TAC and the results.
  2. Description of the UAS, including a summary of the SOI.
  3. A summary of the TAC strategy, including TAC team composition.
  4. A summary of the SC, including assumptions, constraints and issues.
  5. A listing of the operational envelope, limitations and restrictions.
  6. Reference to all technical notes raised to support the TAC program.
  7. Reference to the RTCDS.
  8. Identification of the TAA-approved flight manual and/or UAS operating instructions.
  9. A reference to the document containing the approved ICAs.
  10. Identification of the organization responsible for the control of design changes.  Provide a brief description of the process that will be used to manage the certification of design changes.  (If the design management process and procedures are referenced in the Engineering Process Manual (EPM) then the EPM needs to be referenced in the TAC report.
  11. A listing of any risk or hazard conditions not covered in the SC and deemed temporary, including associated RARM references, as applicable.
  12. Reference to all flight authority documents, including flight permits issued against the UAS (if required) and all CofCs.
  13. Results of the TAA review of the In-service Support Program (ISS) in accordance with regulatory reference 3.2.d, which will address the following:

(1)        Engineering Support Program.

(2)        Maintenance Support Program.

(3)        Logistics Support Program.

  1. Conclusions and recommendation for TAC.

4.7.3     Once the TAC report has been approved and TAC has been granted by the TAA, the Applicant must seek Operational Airworthiness Clearance (OAC) from the Operational Airworthiness Authority (OAA) and a Release to Service (RTS) from the Airworthiness Authority (AA).

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