Yesterday was the fourth time the Centre held one of its Drone Industry Networking events. Once more pilots, manufacturers, academics and other mingled over refreshments and talk about all manner of drones and unmanned aircraft.
Dr Andrew Heaton also gave a presentation on the new drone regulations for the European Union being proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These rules are currently out for consultation for public consultation. The consultation is open from the 12th May 2017 to the 12th August 2017 with the final decision on the them scheduled to be made during the second quarter of 2018.
Summary of the Proposed Regulations
The consultation consists of a total of 258 pages split into two parts. Part A contains an explanatory note and the proposed draft rules. Part B contains a full impact assessment. The objective of the ‘New Basic Regulation’ is succinctly summed in its executive summary:
In view of the adoption of this new Regulation, the objective of this Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2017-05 is:
- to ensure an operation-centric, proportionate, risk- and performance-based regulatory framework for all UAS operations conducted in the open and specific category;
- to ensure a high and uniform level of safety for UAS;
- to foster the development of the UAS market; and
- to contribute to enhancing privacy, data protection, and security.
This NPA proposes to create a new regulation (hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX’) defining the measures to mitigate the risk of operations in
- the open category through a combination of limitations, operational rules, requirements for the competence of the remote pilot, as well as technical requirements for the UAS; and
- the specific category through a system including a risk assessment conducted by the operator before starting an operation, or the operator complying with a standard scenario, or the operator holding a certificate with privileges.
However, drone pilots planning to operate in the EU and also manufacture will need to read through the full documents to see how they might be affected. The rules relate to unmanned aircraft under 25 kg including both drones and model aircraft (who get some exemptions).