Applying for an Operational Authorisation in the SPECIFIC category

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New European rules apply to the operation of drones (also know as 'Unmanned Aerial Vehicle' - UAV, or 'Unmanned Aircraft System' - UAS).

These rules provide for the following 3 categories, depending on the level of operational risk:

  • 'OPEN', when the risk is low;
  • 'SPECIFIC', when the risk is medium;
  • 'CERTIFIED', when the risk is very high.

The current procedure applies only to applications for operational authorisations in the SPECIFIC category.

Who is concerned?

UAS operators who wish to fly in the 'SPECIFIC' category.


Operator registration

Natural or legal persons who wish to operate a UAS in the 'SPECIFIC' category must:

  • first register as a UAS operator; and
  • be able to provide a UAS operator registration number in compliance with European regulations.

UAS operators must register in the EU Member State where:

  • they are resident, if the operator is a natural person; or
  • they have their principal place of business, if the operator is a legal person.

Risk assessment

The UAS operator must provide an operational risk assessment along with a list of risk mitigation measures. The risk assessment must comply with Article 11 of Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

To be deemed compliant, the risk assessment must be performed using one of the following 2 methodologies:

  • the SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) methodology, in compliance with AMC1 of Article 11. Risk assessments using this methodology require a wide range of documented information to be provided;
  • the PDRA (Pre-Defined Risk Assessment) methodology, which is a simplified version of the SORA methodology for certain types of pre-defined operations. Full details of the PDRA methodology can be found on the EASA website.

How to proceed

Filing an application

Applications for an operational authorisation in the SPECIFIC category must be filed using the forms for this procedure:

  • DAC-UAS401 – "Application for operational authorisation";
  • DAC-UAS402 – "Application for operational authorisation – Annex UAS";
  • DAC-UAS403 – "Description of the procedures established by the UAS operator to ensure that the UAS operation is in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation".

Applications may be sent to the DAC:

Duration of validity

The duration of validity of the operational authorisation is defined at the time of its issue.


The UAS operator shall allow the competent authority access to all UASs, installations, documents, registrations, data, procedures and any other equipment used in connection with their activity as a UAS operator.

In the event of any major changes in the operation of their UAS, or in the mitigation measures listed in an existing operational authorisation, the UAS operator shall submit an updated operational authorisation application.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

Directorate of Civil Aviation

  • Directorate of Civil Aviation

    4, rue Lou Hemmer L-1748 Senningerberg Luxembourg
    Postbox 283 L-2012 Luxembourg
    Email address:
    Closed ⋅ Opens at 8.30
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00

Related procedures and links


Registering as a UAS operator


Further information

Legal references

Règlement d'exécution (UE) modifié n° 2019/947 de la Commission du 24 mai 2019

concernant les règles et procédures applicables à l'exploitation d'aéronefs sans équipage à bord

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