Drone Operations in the Specific Category: A Unique Approach to Aviation Safety

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The traditional system of aviation safety relies on a multilayered approach. It ensures safety through, inter alia, controlling the capability of the operator, the licensing and fitness criteria for crew members, and the technical standards of each aircraft type and individual aircraft. Meanwhile, the specific category of drone operations, pursuant to the new legal framework of the European Union, uses a holistic risk assessment to address all of the aforementioned aspects. The most prominent method to do so is the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA).

The SORA differs greatly from the traditional multilayered approach, which creates controversy. The method is good because it is flexible and understandable for drone operators who often lack the skills to grasp the whole of traditional safety regulation. It also has the potential to assess risks accurately. On the other hand, the method might be too simple, permissive and case-specific. Despite its shortcomings, however, the approach taken in the specific category represents a laudable legal innovation that will aid in integrating drones into the shared airspace.
Translated title of the contributionDronetoiminta erityisessä kategoriassa: Uusi lähestymistapa ilmailuturvallisuuteen
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-21
JournalThe Aviation & Space Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2019
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • aviation
  • aviation law
  • air law
  • drones
  • uas
  • uav
  • rpas
  • European Union
  • European union law
  • airspace
  • drone
  • EU law

Field of science

  • Law


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