AUVSI has introduced this program to set certified operators apart from others in the remote pilot industry.
With the implementation of Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations in the United States, and similar regulatory frameworks around the world, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are transforming fundamental concepts for providing airborne services.
The AUVSI Trusted Operator ProgramTM (TOP) fills the gap between these minimally prescriptive operating regulations and a higher level of demonstrated knowledge, flight proficiency, safety and risk management practices that is expected to be valued by employers and customers of commercial UAS operators.
Training and certification are a vital component in the safe advancement of the commercial UAS industry, and a critical component in supporting the growing number of commercial remote pilots. The AUVSI Trusted Operator Program (TOP) is a certification program that was developed with industry consensus and support. TOP although a new program is already gaining recognition by the FAA and international organizations as a solution to a growing industry problem and encompasses more than basic FAA regulations. TOP points to over 300 accredited and recognized industry standards and best practices including; ISO, ASTM, ANSI, NIMS, NFPA, OSHA, RTCA, ICAO, IEEE and more, thus providing clarity and a method of compliance to safety and best practice.
There is both an opportunity and a need for a common framework to support and verify a UAS operator’s safety, competence and reliability, and providing a level of assurance to customers, employers and other beneficiaries of UAS services. TOP provides this framework by way of accredited standards that are relevant to many UAS operating environments.
The program was modeled off existing aviation certification and verification programs, which brings some foundational strengths of integrity and reliability which will support the needs of the commercial UAS industry TOP is built on fundamental aviation and quality principals supports advancing commercial UAS regulatory framework.
The Trusted Operator ProgramTM (TOP) fills the gap between minimally prescriptive operating regulations and the need for a uniform level of knowledge, flight proficiency, training, safety and risk management practices. Filling this gap is expected to be valued by employers and customers of commercial UAS operators. Fundamentally, there has been disparity in the levels of remote pilot ‘quality’ due to the lack of uniform Training Standards delivered from UAS Training Providers. This verification in pilot competency, and organizations capacity and commitment for formal safety frameworks, offers end users, assurance of safety, competence, and reliability, this is the heart of the TOP value proposition.
Voluntary self-regulation of an industry through its representative association can be an important mechanism in promoting a self-governing commercial UAS industry. Voluntary industry standards compliance, through programs such as the Trusted Operator Program™, can greatly support and enhance government regulatory requirements.
The more effectively an association does this, the greater the synergy and quality of the relationship between the regulator and industry. In addition to this function, the association that achieves emerges as a leader and therefore increases their credibility, and power to advocate on behalf of the industry. This is another aspect of the value proposition the Trusted Operator Program™ offers Supporting and advocating fair and practical regulations for a safe sustainable and profitable commercial UAS industry.
Download the manual for free here.
Access to the TOP directory to find a pilot here.