Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
Studies on societal aspects of RPAS published on 19 November 2014
Facilitating access to regulation for light Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
Call for Proposals COS-RPAS-2014-2-03 for the development of a web portal, awareness raising and training tools aiming to facilitate access to relevant regulations, requirements and procedures for SMEs and entrepreneurs operating or wishing to operate RPAS.
Deadline: 18 February 2014
European Commission Communication
The European Commission adopted on 8 April 2014 the Communication "A new era for aviation – Opening the aviation market to the civil use of RPAS in a safe and sustainable manner "
This Communication sets out the Commission's views on how to address civil drones, or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), operations in a European level policy framework which will enable the progressive development of the commercial drones market while safeguarding the public interest. Understanding the direction for future regulatory developments is important for the European industry when it comes to making decisions on further investments.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
The development of drones (RPAS or Unmanned Aircraft Systems) started in the 50's and matured rapidly in recent years in the military context. Drones are now entering the civil market, opening a promising new chapter in the history of aviation.
Civil drones present a huge potential for developing innovative applications in wide variety of sectors to the benefit of European society, creating jobs and achieving useful tasks.
As civil aviation is evolving itself towards more automation, drones' technologies will also be crucial for the competitiveness of the European aeronautics industry as a whole.
European Commission Strategy
The European Commission has developed a strategy to support the progressive development of the civil drones market in Europe while addressing potentially related concerns like safety, security, privacy, liability or public acceptance.
This strategy is presented in the Communication the European Commission adopted on 8 April 2014 " A new era for aviation – Opening the aviation market to the civil use of RPAS in a safe and sustainable manner "
The strategy focusses on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), a sub-set of Unmanned Aircraft Systems which excludes fully autonomous systems. It includes:
- the safe and secure integration of RPAS into the European aviation system from 2016 onwards through the development of:
- a common safety regulatory framework proportionate to risks for drones of all classes in order to enable the creation of a single European market for civil drones applications;
- the necessary enabling technologies (sense & avoid, comment & control communication link etc.) within SESAR JU in close coordination with other initiatives;
- measures to ensure the protection of citizens (privacy, insurance, etc.);
- measures to support market development and European industries.
The strategy has been established on the basis of:
- An extensive consultation undertaken between 2009 and 2012 through various conferences and workshops (see hearing report [785 KB] , the conclusions of the High Level conference [17 KB] and all workshops presentations) and summarized in the Staff Working Document "Towards a European strategy for the development of civil applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) " (SWD(2012)259) published in September 2012;
- The Roadmap for the integration of civil RPAS into the European Aviation System [2 MB] and its annexes (Regulatory Approach [3 MB] , Strategic Research Plan [4 MB] , Study on the Societal Impact [3 MB] ) established by a group of representative European stakeholders in 2013.
Project for facilitating access to regulation for light RPAS
Launching a web portal to raise awareness and bring together information on regulatory regimes of EU Member States in the areas of safety, insurance, privacy, etc. that are ruling civil RPAS operations in Europe. A one-stop shop intended for SMEs wishing to expand their business in another Member State.
Call for proposal: Facilitating access to regulation for light Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) (http://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/cos-rpas-2014-2-03-facilitating-access-regulation-light-remotely-piloted-aircraft-systems-rpas )
In 2014 the European Commission launched an online consultation to identify the gains brought by the use of RPAS and the concerns that would need to be addressed by EU public intervention. The results were fed into the impact assessment supporting an initiative to regulate appropriately the development and use of RPAS within the context of the single aviation market.
Study on the Third-Party Liability and Insurance Requirements of RPAS
Despite of the efforts undertaken to ensure safety of RPAS operations, accidents may happen and victims need to be adequately compensated for any injury or damage caused by the operation of an RPAS. The study investigates the efficiency of the existing regulatory framework and makes recommendations for possible improvements.
- Final report (2014)
Study on data protection and ethical risks in civil RPAS operations
The study analyses in details the potential privacy, data protection and ethical risks related to civil RPAS applications and make recommendations to mitigate them.
To facilitate the gathering and the consolidation of existing information and increase the transparency of on-going activities, the Commission has set-up a public database on UAS accessible through the CIRCABC interest group on UAS. (To access the documents uploaded to this group, please click on "Library" on the left-hand menu. No login or registration is required). Stakeholders are invited to contribute building-up the database. Any relevant public information can be sent to email@example.com.
For further questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- European Commission Communication "A new era for aviation – Opening the aviation market to the civil use of RPAS in a safe and sustainable manner (2014)
Roadmap for the integration of civil RPAS into the European Aviation System [2 MB] (2013)
- Annex 1 [3 MB] – Regulatory Approach
- Annex 2 [4 MB] – Strategic Research Plan
- Annex 3 [3 MB] – Study on the Societal Impact
- Staff Working Document "Towards a European strategy for the development of civil applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) " (SWD(2012)259)