The European Commission initiatives
Hearing conducted on 8 October 2009 on Light UAS
The first hearing dedicated to unmanned aircraft [785 KB] has been conducted by DG MOVE on Thursday 8 October 2009. It was dedicated to the Light UAS segment composed of unmanned aircraft with a maximum take-off mass of less that 150 kilograms. The main objectives of this event were to understand the current European Light UAS industrial base and the current Light UAS applications in Europe, to identify potential obstacles, enablers and best practices in Europe, to exchange directly with the European Light UAS community views and to assess the future potential role of the European Commission for the insertion of Light UAS.
The High Level Conference
On 1st July 2010, the European Commission and the European Defence Agency joitnly organized a High Level Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). About 450 participants from all over the world discussed issues such as how UAS can support European policies, the different uses of UAS, and institutional and infrastructure measures to allow UAS to fly in non-segregated airspace.
The conclusions [17 KB] of that important event clearly indicated the need for an EU lead initiatives aimed at supporting the industrial and customer aspirations to develop a robust European UAS market.
The "UAS Panel" initiative
After these two successful events, the European Commission felt the need to take stock of all the elements collected, while looking ahead with a pragmatic approach to understand whether an overarching intiative, lead by the European Commission, was effectively required. It was immediately clear that the many initiatives undertaken in the UAS sector were fragmented, and that there was no coherent approach toward a common EU objective. Moreover, the need to clearly identify which obstacles are hampering a full exploitation of civil UAS, and how to remove them , was considered as an important prerequisite for any further actions.
To this end, on 23 June 2011, at the Paris International Air Show, the European Commission launched a new initiative aimed at providing the Commission with the necessary background information to prepare a strategy paper for the future of UAS in the European Union. More information on this initiative can be found on DG ENTR website .
The UAS Panel is expected to deliver its conclusions in the first quart of 2012.