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1st set of European drone regulation: publication by summer 2019 and coming into force by mid-2020

On 28 February 2019, the EASA Committee has given its positive vote to the European Commission’s proposal for an Implementing Act regulating the operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the open and specific categories. The Implementing Regulation (rules) is expected to be published in early summer 2019 and will become applicable 12 months later (June 2020).

The Delegated act which contains the technical requirements for UAS including the requirements for the CE marking of the UAS in the open category was expected to be adopted by the Commission on 12 March 2019. Thereafter it will be sent then to European Council and European Parliament for their 2 months scrutiny period. EASA expects the publication of the delegated act in Q2 2019.

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Next steps

In parallel, EASA is working on the next steps that will enable safe operations of UAS and the integration of these new airspace users into the airspace:

  • Complementing the above mentioned regulations with Alternative Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM): Executive Director’s Decision is expected in Q2 2019

  • EASA’s Opinion with 2 standards scenarios declarative which will be an appendix to the Implementing Act: EASA’s Opinion expected in Q4 2019

  • EASA’s Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) for the UAS in the Certified Category which will include a comprehensive package addressing all aviation domains (airworthiness, continuing airworthiness, remote pilot license, aircraft operations, ATM/ANS and aerodromes): NPA expected in Q4 2019-beginning 2020.

  • EASA’s Opinion of U-space including a high-level framework: Opinion expected by Q4 2019.

This follows a four month consultation period on the Notice of Proposed Amendment, NPA 2017-05, EASA published Opinion 01/2018, including a proposal for a new Regulation for UAS operations in ‘open’ and ‘specific’ category.

  • ‘open’ category is a category of UAS operation that, considering the risks involved, does not require a prior authorisation by the competent authority nor a declaration by the UAS operator before the operation takes place;

  • ‘specific’ category is a category of UAS operation that, considering the risks involved, requires an authorisation by the competent authority before the operation takes place, taking into account the mitigation measures identified in an operational risk assessment, except for certain standard scenarios where a declaration by the operator is sufficient or when the operator holds a light UAS operator certificate (LUC) with the appropriate privileges.;

  • ‘certified’ category is a category of UA operation that, considering the risks involved, requires the certification of the UAS, a licensed remote pilot and an operator approved by the competent authority, in order to ensure an appropriate level of safety.

The proposed Regulation will be accompanied by appropriate AMC and GM. This will be officially published as soon as the proposed Regulation has been adopted by the EU Commission. In order to support the stakeholders, a draft version of the AMC and GM has been made available, its final text may be improved.

Anne-Lise Scaillierez


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