We have been talking in previous blogs about different initiatives carried out in the US for the development and encouragement of UAS operations, promoted by the federal administration.

Let’s talk now about what things are being done in Europe and how the next steps in the world of drones are being approached.

Recently, at the end of last November, The Commission sent the document COM (2022) 652 to The European Parliament, with the title: “A strategy for drones 2.0 for a smart and sustainable drone ecosystem in Europe“.

This document presents some important novelties and principles that will lay the foundations, both for the next legislative developments in the EU, and to set the direction of the UAS market that, little by little, is becoming a flourishing market throughout the world. world.

We are going to comment on some of the aspects that are included in the document that, since it does not have normative or legislative effects, will have gone unnoticed by many, but that I believe has a very important content and dimension.

One of the considerations included in the document is the definition and cataloguing of the UAS market, which, although it clarifies the different businesses or activities, will provide a greater number of acronyms and names, with possible confusion for the general public.

The drone market is divided into three segments. The first two, in turn, are grouped with a common set, which is now called “Innovative Air Services(IAS). This group contains two segments, the one formed by Air Operations, which brings together the services that we all know about work with drones, and the segment called Innovative Air Mobility (IAM) that covers urban, regional and international air mobility and that we know as UAM. Finally, we have the third segment which is what encompasses the U-Space.

Another of the important aspects of the document is that it defines nineteen future actions that it calls “emblematic actions” and that will be specified in legislative actions in the coming months and years and that suppose the position of the European Union to lead the transition towards a healthy planet and a new digital world and, indeed, achieving the European Green Deal goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

We are going to refer in this blog to the emblematic actions that The European Commission must apply to continue building the European market for drone services, and which constitute the first eight of the actions:

1- The Commission intends to adopt amendments to the Standardised European Rules of the Air and the Air Traffic Management/Air Navigation Services Regulation to safely integrate drone and piloted eVTOL operations.

2- The Commission will continue to promote coordinated research on integrated Communication, Navigation and Surveillance technologies to ensure the convergence between ATM and U-space environments.

3- The Commission intends to adopt new European standard scenarios for low to medium risk aerial operations.

4- The Commission intends to adopt rules for the “certified” category of drone operations, addressing the initial and continued airworthiness of drones subject to certification; and the operational requirements applicable to manned VTOL-capable aircraft.

5- The Commission intends to adopt rules for the design and operations of vertiports under the scope of the EASA Basic Regulation.

6- The Commission intends to develop balanced economic and financial requirements for licensing of drone operators.

7- The Commission will fund the creation of an online platform to support a sustainable IAM implementation by authorities, communities, municipalities, industry and stakeholders.

8- The Commission intends to adopt new training and competences requirements for remote pilots and pilots of VTOL aircraft.

As can be seen, many of the issues that are proposed were already being expected by the sector, such as the generation of new European standard scenarios, the development of the certified category, the integration of airspace management or infrastructure design standards. terrestrial such as vertiports.

Perhaps all these principles, at this time, are still far from more concrete spectra, which the sector needs to be able to establish an investment policy in the medium and long term. It is good to establish and order the market with strategic studies, but there are many issues that are currently in the air and that the players involved in the market need to know about. We hope that the rules and provisions that clarify us and allow us to continue developing our businesses safely and with guarantees for the future will be finalized urgently.

The document has other aspects that deserve to be commented on and we will leave it for a next blog.

Pablo Morera



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