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ICAO Council President urges cooperation towards harmonized airspace management for unmanned aircraft

Montreal, Canada - During the RPAS Symposium in Abuja

Opening the ICAO Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Symposium in Abuja yesterday, ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed the importance of a globally coherent regulatory framework for the management of unmanned air traffic. He also stressed the complexity of this task, notably in terms of the tremendous diversity of types and applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and the need to place safety first. The ICAO RPAS Symposium provided an important and timely opportunity for operators and regulators to contribute their expertise to the airspace management framework ICAO will be developing. The UN specialized agency recently requested national governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders to submit concept proposals as of 15 July, and these will be reviewed by ICAO’s UAS Advisory Group (UAS-AG) to assess their validity. Selected submissions will then be presented at ‘DroneEnable’, ICAO’s upcoming UAS Industry Symposium. In making these points, President Aliu noted that the implementation of the regulations demanded by UAS operations will likely increase the burden on States in terms of human resources. He highlighted ICAO’s efforts to address this challenge, pointing in particular to its current collaboration with the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on the ICAO Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF). Aliu further expressed his optimism about UAS operations and the contributions they will make to socio-economic development in Africa and around the world.

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