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Avy - the first BVLOS LUC in the Netherlands
Sara Venditti08 04 243 min read

Avy - The first BVLOS LUC in the Netherlands

In the final moments of 2023, Avy achieved a significant milestone in her journey towards daily impactful BVLOS flights. We were granted the privilege of a Light UAS Certificate (LUC), the first BVLOS LUC in The Netherlands. This privilege marks a specific moment in our commitment to safe and mature aerial missions. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear idea of what an LUC is, how we went about getting it and what it means for Avy, operationally and commercially.

What is an LUC and why did we apply for it?

A Light UAS Certificate is an operational certificate granted by national civil aviation authorities (NCAA) in the European Union. Being granted an LUC signifies that Avy is compliant with specific standards and regulations approved by the European Commission with EASA as delegate agency - the regulations 2019/947 and 2019/945. At Avy, safety and compliance are paramount, therefore by obtaining the LUC we demonstrate our dedication to meeting regulatory requirements. Avy can now start operations in the Specific Category without needing to pass by the NCAA.

How did we get here?

The journey towards receiving our LUC began years ago. At midnight of the 30th December 2020, we submitted our first application. We knew that the new EASA drone regulations would enter into force starting from the 31st and we wanted to have a shot at being the first in line to obtain it. Reality kicked in when the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority (ILT) informed us just how far we were from the maturity level one needs to become an LUC holder. After the first rejection, we committed ourselves to reaching the necessary levels regarding safety processes and documentation.

The process from hereon was a steep learning curve with numerous milestones. This period was characterised by a cycle of meetings with the CAA and resubmissions. Each one of these returned with in-depth feedback from experienced senior inspectors from ILT. This process enabled continuous improvement that pushed Avy to grow professionally and set safety as an overarching company priority. 

It was the beginning of 2023 when we decided we were ready for a new submission. We clicked the “submit” button, and little we knew that it would be the last time. After receiving the “green light” from ILT, we entered the last phase of this process: the audit. This moment triggered tension, excitement, and much preparation within Avy, which eventually brought us to the point of being an LUC holder!

What does it enable us to do?

The LUC empowers Avy to self-authorise its own SORAs, including BVLOS operations in SAIL II under specific conditions outlined by the CAA. With this privilege, we save time and costs in getting operations approved while ensuring that the missions meet the necessary safety requirements.

What does this mean for our customers?

Our LUC has significant value for our current and future customers in a number of ways. Firstly, we can provide expert knowledge and support to parties wanting to obtain their own LUC. Our knowledge of the process, requirements, and regulations will save considerable time and effort. Secondly, the LUC points to the expert skills and knowledge of our Flight Operators. This means that customers can learn directly from those who understand exactly what is required to deliver safe, reliable, and effective operations. Finally, it enables us to expand our BVLOS operations faster, organise demonstrations with less effort and onboard European customers more efficiently.

In summary, receiving our LUC required years of time and effort. However, the decision to pursue it was never in doubt because at Avy, an LUC isn’t just a badge of honour - it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to safety.

The driving force behind receiving our LUC, Sara Venditti (Regulatory and Compliance Manager)