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SORA at InterDrone 2019—12 Steps to Improve Your Waiver Application

BY Zacc Dukowitz
3 July 2019

Heard of SORA?

The acronym stands for Specific Operations Risk Assessment, and it is a  risk assessment methodology for drone operations created by JARUS (Join Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems).


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JARUS members include representatives of national aviation authorities from 59 countries—Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and the U.K. are on the list, just to name a few—as well as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and EUROCONTROL.

In creating the methodology contained in SORA all of these different entities formed a consensus, which is pretty impressive.

[Attend a preconference workshop on SORA at InterDrone 2019.]

What Is the SORA Methodology?

In broad terms, SORA establishes a common process that can be used to identify, qualitatively assess, and manage the safety risk posed by UAS when preparing the safety case required for regulatory approval to conduct certain types of operations.

In short, it’s the de facto standard for evaluating the potential risks of a proposed UAS operation, which means that it could be really helpful in providing guidelines to shape your application for a Part 107 waiver from the FAA.


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Below are the twelve steps—thirteen really, if you count step 0—recommended by SORA for evaluating risk:

0. Initial Evaluation

1. ConOps Description

2. Determination of the Initial UAS Ground Risk Class

3. Harm Barriers and GRC adaptation

4. Lethality Determination

5. Specific Assurance and Integrity Levels (SAIL)

6. Determination of the Airspace Encounter Category (AEC)

7. Initial Assessment of the Air-Risk Class

8. Establish Strategic Mitigations

9. Assess Required Level of Tactical Mitigation

10. Identification of Recommended Threat Barriers

11. Feasability Check

12. Verification of Robustness of the Proposed Barriers

We’re just listing the steps here, but of course there is a lot of information to consider for each one. To get all the details on each step, view the full SORA document here on the JARUS website.

SORA 2.0 at InterDrone 2019

One of the preconference workshops at InterDrone this year focuses solely on SORA, and will cover its latest iteration from JARUS, SORA 2.0, in depth.

Here are the details:

Specific Operations and Risk Assessment(SORA) Workshop


In this session, you will receive an overview of SORA 2.0, the most recent edition of the guidance and learn how to evaluate the safety risks involved with the operation of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) of any class and size and type of operation (including military, experimental, R&D and prototyping). The instructors will guide you through the key concepts of SORA including the semantic model, the roles and responsibilities of key actors (eg. the operator, UAS manufacturer, etc.), assessing ground and air risk, identifying safety objectives and more.

[Want to attend InterDrone 2019? Use this link to get $150 off a three-day pass.]

Other InterDrone Preconference Workshops

Below is a selection of some of the preconference workshops being offered at InterDrone 2019. Visit this webpage on the InterDrone website to see the full list of workshops.

Videography Intensive


Learn how to optimize your field production time and build a plan to assure the required shots are captured with confidence. This intensive, 4.5-hour workshop will take you from the planning steps for unique shot styles through to editing techniques for the final video. This session will detail what it is you need for complete aerial storytelling, adding to ground footage and unique elements to best to convey your story and clearly communicate your message.

Mapping Intensive


This course is for those who seek to incorporate Drones/s UAS/UAV’s for Mapping and highly accurate results into their business portfolio. The course will instruct on how to increase accuracy using the latest technology and software as much as 1cm – 2cm horizontal and 2cm – 4cm vertically.  We will incorporate into this program innovative workflows to help assure a top quality final deliverable for your clients. This training course will get you from the theory on photogrammetry, how sensors work both aerial and ground based to provide vital data for post processing, moving on to how acquiring data sets through automated missions on different platforms, and post processing software to produce very accurate 2D and 3D products. The use, proper application of GCP collection, and placement will bring a real value proposition to your clients by using your services. We show real use case study results and also touch on how lidar can be incorporated into the workflow and will demonstrate live lidar scan and review the results.

Construction Intensive


Drones are an innovative and cost-efficient augmentation to any construction project.  The benefits to firms and companies such as Architects, General Contractors, Sub Contractors, Investors, and more.

We will be discussing everything from personal protective equipment,  software, data acquisition, and tools your client may utilize to make decisions based the data delivery.

Join Brady for a deep dive into what it takes to get the job done.

Attend InterDrone 2019

InterDrone 2019 will be held from September 3—6 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, and will feature more than 110 workshops, sessions, panel discussions, and keynotes conducted by industry experts, as well as over 100 companies showcasing the latest hardware, software, and drone accessories in the exhibit hall.

Watch this video to get a sense for what you can expect from InterDrone 2019:

InterDrone 2018: Attendee Perspectives

Register for InterDrone 2019 now—get $150 off a three-day pass when you use this link to registerAlternately, use code PSUAVCOACH1 when registering to get your $150 discount on a three day pass.

Join a global community of


drone enthusiasts.