Identification of Emerging Safety and Security Risks in Drone Operations at Work Sites

Risto Tiusanen (Corresponding author), Eetu Heikkilä, Tero Välisalo, Emrehan Öz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), drones, is strongly increasing in various purposes in industry and in different sectors of society in general. Digital transformation is a megatrend also in aviation and it will bring significant changes to manned and unmanned aviation. Drones are already widely used e.g., in surveillance and security control tasks and in rescue and search missions. The use of UAV technology and related systems in everyday work processes and tasks will change many of the traditional operations and services. Drone based services are going towards high autonomy and drones will soon operate over the populated areas. Drones and their operating systems and energy supply systems are new assets. The safety and security implications and risks of these systems are still not well known among the drone operators and people affected by nearby flying equipment. To solve these challenges and to manage new risks several international activities are ongoing. European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has defined new risk-based categories for drone operations: open, specific, and certified. A risk assessment method SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) has been developed by EASA for the analysis and assessment of air and ground risks in specific category drone operations. The aim of our study is to create understanding of UAV related emerging risks at work sites in urban areas. In this paper we first review and discuss air and ground risks that are under consideration in SORA when applying the operational authorisation for specific category drone operations. We also look beyond the scope covered by the SORA assessment and identify other indirect risks or safety implications associated with drone operations when there are people working nearby. In addition to safety risks, we also introduce potential security threats and discuss their implications in drone operations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th WCEAM Proceedings, 2022
EditorsAdolfo Crespo Márquez, Juan Francisco Gómez Fernández, Vicente González-Prida Díaz, Joe Amadi-Echendu
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783031254475
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2023
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event16th World Congress on Engineering Asset Management, WCEAM 2022 - Sevilla, Spain
Duration: 5 Oct 20227 Oct 2022

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering


Conference16th World Congress on Engineering Asset Management, WCEAM 2022
Abbreviated titleWCEAM 2022


  • drone
  • UAV
  • unmanned aerial vehicles


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