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Airports: speedy adoption of European rules for drone aircraft

Announced in December 2015

The EU Aviation Strategy has been a major driver of the development of new regulation on the use of drones aircraft, since its announcement in December 2015. With the political agreement on the new EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) Regulation and the endorsement of the Helsinki Declaration by the aviation community late last year, the prospects for the EU’s rulebook on the use of drones have gathered further momentum.

Drone  (Uav, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle at remote control) technology has rapidly emerged over the past 5 years, touching various aspects of air transport, not least airport operations. In the immediacy, the technology potentially has major implications on operational efficiency and safety, with ongoing projects in research and development proposing many other possible uses down the line.

In considering the risks and opportunities presented by drones, ACI EUROPE is today releasing the position of the airport industry - embracing the technology and calling for the swift adoption of safety and traffic management rules at EU level on the use of drones. Airports also underline the importance of drone registration, performance-based rules, and a modern approach to integrating drones at airports, one that relies on expedited approvals via “standard scenarios” and safety management systems.

The regulatory material that will be necessary for the next steps of drone integration includes the safety rules developed at EASA, as well as the U-Space traffic management framework.

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