New ISO 23665 standard defines training requirements for UAS personnel

On February 26th 2021, ISO has released the first edition of the new standard ISO 23665:2021. This standard defines the procedures for training personnel who will be involved in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In this first edition, Remote Pilots (RP) of drones in Visual Line-of-Sight (VLOS) and related Training Organisations (TOs) are included.

The document defines:

a) knowledge, skill, attitude and qualification criteria that are needed for UAS pilots and training organizations that provides training to trainees of UAS remote pilots and other personnel involved in UAS operations;

b) training curriculum and contents for specific learning courses;

c) qualification and confirmation criteria for the training organizations;

d) general procedures for providing training of UAS personnel. The requirements for a specific course as described in the annexes can be more restrictive in some cases.

Even if practical training of RPs in the “Open” category is not mandatory on the basis of EU Regulation 2019/947, nevertheless, TOs and professional operators might be more credible on the market if ISO certified.

On December 2020, the Final Draft of ISO 23665 had obtained 13 positive votes out of 13, hence, with the official publication, it now becomes applicable worldwide, including in States which might have on UAS fewer comprehensive regulations than in the EU.

The Sub-Committee SC / 16 of ISO TC / 20 is already developing the second edition, probably including:

“Semi-regulated” professions like the BVLOS remote pilots in the Specific category, whose competency requirements are set by the Regulation 2019/947of the Commission, but which don’t require a licence issued by aviation authorities.

“Non-regulated” professions as the “observer(s)”, whose syllabus must therefore be developed by the employer. In this case, of course, an international standard would facilitate the development of the syllabus.

Various stakeholders contributed to the development of the ISO 23665 standard, among which EuroUSC Italia.

Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch (available in Dutch and English). Wiebe is an experienced drone pilot (RPA-L certified) and has published a number of books about drone photography and cinematography.

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