Mobility and Transport

Air

Unmanned aircraft (drones)

Unmanned aircraft (drones)

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The development of Unmanned Aircraft, commonly known as ‘drones’, has opened a promising new chapter in the history of aerospace. Unmanned aircraft offer a wide range of possibilities for the benefit of European society, ranging from environmental control and security, as well as a fascinating variety of commercial services. They can perform air operations that manned aviation struggle with, and their use results in evident economic savings and environmental benefits whilst reducing the risk to human life.

However, the absence of a clear regulatory framework at EU level does not currently allow the creation of a truly European market for drone services and aircraft, which limits the potential for jobs and growth creation in this new sector of the economy.

However, the absence of a clear regulatory framework at EU level does not currently allow the creation of a truly European market for drone services and aircraft, which limits the potential for jobs and growth creation in this new sector of the economy.

In response to these challenges, the Commission has proposed, under the 2015 EU Aviation Strategy , to create a risk-based framework for all types of drone operations. This framework will ensure the safe use of drones in civil airspace and will create legal certainty for the industry. In this context, concerns related to privacy and data protection, security, liability and insurance or environment will also be taken into account.

The Commission works together with the European Aviation Safety Agency to ensure that future rules for unmanned aircraft are proportionate to the risk involved and to ensure that new developments are not hampered by unnecessarily heavy and costly rules and procedures. The Commission will also seek to rely on industry standards as far as possible.

The Commission proposals build on the Riga Declaration which was endorsed in 2015, during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

 

Legislation

Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency

 

Studies

Small RPAS Operations near Regional Airports Operational Description, Impacts, and Issues

 

Publications

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: “A new era for aviation Opening the aviation market to the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems in a safe and sustainable manner” (2014)

European RPAS Roadmap (2013)

“Flying new way - A Boost for European Creativity and Innovation” (2013) 

Commission Staff Working Document “Towards a European strategy for the development of civil applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)” (2012) 

Innovative Operational UAS Integration:

INOUI Project

Deliverables