Air Operations Expert Group

Air Operations Expert Group

Expert Group Leader: Paul Sheppard
EXCOM Oversight: Charlton Clark & Patricia Ortúzar​

Welcome to the COMNAP Air Operations Expert Group webpage. This group includes the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Working Group (RPA-WG).​

Terms of reference:

  • Continue to review and discuss best practice in regards to air operations, in support of improving safety of air operations in Antarctica.
  • Share and discuss operational experience and information on new technology related to Antarctic air operations and associated communication, navigation, the avoidance of mutual interference, and contingency response.
  • Review the air transport aspects of international cooperation in Antarctic science and support.
  • Continue to review developments in the use of existing or additional air links, and the use of blue ice or compacted snow landing sites.
  • Through the RPA Working Group, reduce risk to people, infrastructure and environment in the Antarctic Treaty area, while enabling, in situations where allowed, RPA use in the area for scientific applications and science support purposes. ​

Deploying RPAS in the Antarctic Treaty Area this season?

COMNAP recommends referring to the COMNAP RPAS Handbook 15 September 2021 that includes guidance in relation to environmental aspects of RPA operation in the Antarctic Treaty Area. The ATCM also adopted by way of Resolution 4 (2018) “Environmental Guidelines for operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Antarctica​”.

RPAS/UAS Notice to Airman (NOTAMS) for Antarctica

For all planned RPAS/UAS activity in Antarctica, please refer to restrictions for flights in the worldwide Notice to Airman System (NOTAM). This includes planned RPAS/UAS activity. Access to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) NOTAM System is unrestricted and can be found here.