For companies involved in drone aerial surveying, the LUC certificate is like a limited edition platinum certificate within the industry, which is extremely difficult to earn. Even internationally, it is rare to find companies that hold such a licence. That is why it is such a big deal that Geolayer Kft. was the first company in Hungary to be authorised with an LUC certificate. In this article, we highlight the details of this milestone achievement.
What is a LUC certificate and how does it relate to drone use?
The acronym itself comes from the English term “Light UAS Operator Certificate”. Drone operators can apply for it and it is only available to organisations with legal personality.
The LUC is essentially like a kind of certificate from the National Aviation Authority. Proof of our ability to independently assess the potential risks of using and operating a drone.
Operating with a LUC certificate is both a great benefit and a responsibility. The certificate gives us the possibility to independently authorise the types of operations listed therein. Of course, by fully complying with all the conditions set by the authority and all the relevant legislation.
Even across Europe, not many companies have a LUC certificate. This is reflected in the fact that for a long time only one company in the entire European Union was LUC certified. It is a Norwegian company that is active in environmental and fish farming, and the certificate provided to them is initially relatively a narrower margin of manoeuvre.
This is one of the reasons why it is a great achievement to be the first in this country to obtain the LUC certificate, which is valid throughout the European Union.
A major milestone, the first LUC certification in Hungary
Of course, on the domestic market, there is also a very strong added value for a company interested in using unmanned vehicles to operate with a LUC certificate.
The availability of LUC certification represents a step change in the efficiency of drone aerial services for the construction industry. Including road construction design, land mass calculation, drone aerial surveys of junctions, bridges and viaducts etc.
In practice, any construction work can be carried out in a shorter timeframe, while ensuring that safety conditions are fully met. In addition to the construction industry, thermal imaging diagnostics of solar parks, among others, can also be carried out seamlessly with LUC.
It is a great honour that the Hungarian authority has granted Geolayer Kft. a LUC certificate for the first time among the Hungarian applicants.
The LUC certificate can save our clients significant time
We know that the time available is often a bottleneck in the execution of a construction project or investment. Having a LUC certificate can be an advantage for our clients because it means that
- there is no need to obtain a permit from the authorities for each individual operation;
- losing days again and again by submitting an application for an operation licence;
- having the certificate allows us to do this independently, saving dozens of valuable man-hours.
In addition, the LUC is a true reflection of compliance. By seeing the certificate, clients can be assured that operations are being carried out in compliance with all points of EU Regulation 2019/947.
Of course, the certificate didn’t just come out by itself, a strict and rather complex set of conditions had to be met for a successful application.
What requirements have we met to obtain the LUC certificate?
- We have proven that we work in a structured way to do our utmost to ensure that flight operations are carried out safely, with control over planning, implementation, maintenance and back office administration.
- We apply a safety management system to ensure that potential risks to aviation are effectively managed.
- Our planning and implementation staff have proven remote pilot competencies along with risk analysis certifications and skills.
- We maintain a rigorous documentation system, storing years of data on operations, which can be accessed by the supervisory authority at any time.
- We have developed an aviation safety policy with associated safety objectives.
- We prepared a so-called LUC manual, in which we defined in detail the procedures and activities we would carry out if we had LUC authorisation, developed emergency procedures and defined responsibilities within the organisation.
A milestone towards the Digital Wellbeing Program’s goal
We hope that working with LUC certificate, for the first time in Hungary, we can contribute to the realisation of magnificent goals. For example, the Digital Wellbeing Program, which aims to create a world-class drone ecosystem by creating a supportive regulatory environment.
The added value of using drones is being proven in a growing number of industries. In this context, further broad-based growth is forecast in the coming years. For the successful exploitation of drones in an increasing number of industries, a regulated framework is important.
We are also a member of the Hungarian Drone Coalition, which shares a common goal of widespread drone adoption. In other words, to make Hungary a world leader in the use of unmanned vehicles as soon as possible.