Since the beginning of aviation, model aircraft flying has played a central role in ensuring competitiveness and innovation in the aviation sector. With more than half a million pilots throughout Europe, model flying often introduces youth to the fascination of flying, developing their skills and motivating them to pursue aviation related professions. It has repeatedly shown itself to be a driver of innovation (electrification of aviation and the development of unmanned aircraft used for commercial purposes) and provides a market for testing and large-scale deployment of innovative aviation products, including battery technology. Restricting model flying will worsen Europe’s shortage of pilots and aviation engineers, slow down innovation and reduce Europe’s competitiveness in the aviation sector.
We understand that Article 16 is intended to provide a mechanism for model flying to continue as it does today, in accordance with the requirements of the Basic Regulation. The current draft requires a number of changes to ensure that this objective can be met for those operating within the framework of clubs and associations.
For activities outside the framework of model aircraft clubs and associations, the majority of which are likely to fall under the open category, the open category rules must be changed to ensure that these rules better fit the characteristics and low risks from model flying.
Our detailed response is attached.
The views and opinions expressed here are entirely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official opinion of the European Commission. The Commission cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in them. Neither the Commission, nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf, may be held responsible for the content or the information posted here. Views and opinions that violate the Commission’s feedback rules will be removed from the site.