The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a new proposal to regulate the operation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in Europe.
Published in a document called a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA), the proposal offers a framework to safely operate drones, while allowing the industry to remain agile and continue to grow.
In addition, the proposed regulation also takes into consideration the risk posed to other aircraft and people on the ground, as well as privacy, security and data protection issues created by flying such drones.
The new EASA proposal involves all technical and operational requirements for the UAVs.
While technical requirements refer, for example, to the remote identification of drones, operational requirements include geofencing, which prohibits the entrance of unmanned aircraft into a prohibited area.
The proposal also includes certain required qualifications for the UAV pilots, and drone operators will be required to register themselves, except when they operate aircraft lighter than 250g.
Design requirements for small UAVs will be implemented with the Conformité européenne (CE) marking.
Besides the standard CE marking, identification of the class of drone (from C0 to C4) will also be implemented, along with the inclusion of a do’s and don'ts leaflet that in all drone boxes.
Based on the class of the drone, UAV operators will be instructed on where they can fly their aircraft and the required competence levels for drone operations.
An operational risk assessment will be carried out for drone operations that involve higher risk factors in order to specify the requirements that a pilot needs to comply with before flying the aircraft.
The proposal also offers special alleviations for people flying drones to reward good safety records.
Feedback on the NPA proposal will be assessed to reach a final opinion that will be submitted by EASA to the European Commission at the end of this year.