About this consultation

Consultation period
13 April 2018 - 13 July 2018

Target group

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Objective of the consultation

This public consultation asks for your informed opinions and suggestions to help identify what are the gains that could be brought by the use of drones and what are the concerns that would need to be addressed by EU public intervention.

The questionnaire is structured as follows:

  1. Respondent's profile
  2. What benefits Drones can bring
  3. Problems to be addressed
  4. Market situation
  5. Other issues

The results of this consultation will feed into the forthcoming delegated and implementing rules on drones and drones operations and possible future follow-up rules related to drones operations. 

The questionnaire concerns the civil use of drones for public use as well as recreational and commercial activity. The use for military purposes is not covered by this survey. The term “drones” is used throughout the questionnaire referring to Unmanned Aircraft.

How to submit your response

The online questionnaire is accessible in all official EU languages (except Irish) and replies may be submitted in any EU language. We do encourage you to answer as much as possible in English though.

You may pause at any time and continue later. Once you have submitted your answers, you can download a copy of your completed responses.

Received contributions will be published on this page. If the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal information, the contribution will be published in anonymous form. If a document is uploaded to the contribution, it may be published unaltered together with the response.

In the interest of transparency, the Commission asks organisations that wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007).

If you are a registered organisation, please indicate your Register ID number in the Transparency Register when replying to the online questionnaire. Your contribution will then be considered as representative of the views of your organisation.

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to register now. Then you can return to this page and submit your contribution as a registered organisation.

The system uses local storage to save copies of your input to a survey, in order to have a backup if the server is not available during submission, or your computer is switched off accidentally, or any other cause. The local storage contains the IDs of the questions and the draft answers. Once you successfully submitted the survey to the server, or you have successfully saved a draft on the server, the data is removed from local storage. There is a checkbox above the survey "Save a backup on your local computer (disable if you are using a public/shared computer)" to disable the feature. In that case, no data will be stored on your computer.

See also: Help page for participants

Additional information

This public consultation follows a previous one conducted a few years ago by the European Commission on a policy initiative in the field of Civil Drones or unmanned aircraft (UA).

Unmanned aircraft (drones) can bring substantial benefits to the society at large, and contribute to the EU’s wider objectives such as creating new jobs, the speeding digitalisation of the economy, improving environmental protection or making transport more efficient. In Europe, they are already being used for aerial photography, safety inspections of infrastructure, such as rail tracks, dams, bridges or power grids, disaster relief, e.g. to overfly flooded areas or to support firefighting, and also to support precision farming through more effective and timely application of fertilizers or pesticides. At the same time, the use of drones raises sometimes questions among a general public with regard to safety, security and privacy.

The Regulation revising common rules in the field of civil aviation and the roles of the European Aviation Safety Agency which will be adopted later this year sets out some basic rules that both drones as a product and their operators must meet. It also extends the EU competence on drones regardless of their weight (drones of more than 150kg were already subject to EU wide harmonised rules).

After entry into force of the revised Regulation, the Commission intends to adopt more specific implementing rules regarding drones taking as guiding principle the level of risk the use of drones may entail. The Commission intends to propose:

  • set of implementing rules (in the form of delegated act), regarding technical requirements on consumer drones intended to be used without the need for a prior approval from the aviation authority and the use of drones by third country operators. The technical requirements defined by the regulation will contribute to ensure the safe operation of those drones and enhance privacy, data protection, and security by providing requirements such as registration, geofencing and electronic identification. Compliance of consumer drones with the requirements set by the regulation will be subject to CE marking. Finally, the delegated act will also allow third country operators' operation within the Single European Sky airspace under local applicable rules.
  • set of implementing rules (in the form of an implementing act) setting out requirements concerning all drones and drone operations that are risk-based and proportionate and taking into account the principles of proportionality, as well as measures to mitigate the risk of drones operations in the open and specific category.

These measures should be adopted without delay as since the last public consultation, the number of drones, whether used for a recreational or professional purpose has continued to grow within the European Union.

While the general rules will be set at the EU level, the day-to-day implementation will be up by the national authorities. For example, in principle it will be the Member States authorities who would be deciding on 'no-fly' zones, or on more detailed requirements for trainings for drone operators.