Flyability_Glacier_3The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has announced that it has issued a technical opinion on the future of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the skies over the European Union (EU), dividing them into three classes, and issuing 27 recommendations for their safe operation in EU airspace.

The proposed regulatory framework creates operational categories based not on weight, but on operational parameters: “This is certainly a starting point for global discussion,” said Sarah Wolf, the US National Business Aviation Association’s senior manager of security and facilitation.

“A lot of states are taking individual action to regulate UAS. That could lead to a patchwork of requirements governing unmanned aircraft, an outcome we are working to avoid.”  Wolf represents NBAA on the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel, which is tasked with developing standards and recommended practices for international
UAS operations.

This appears to encompass everything from prosumer drones to really big birds capable of long-haul routes and international operations that need to be seamlessly integrated into the NAS. Interesting to note that in the Open Category (effectively Category 1, “toys” that weigh less than 500gms (17.67oz) would have to meet industry standards. Now why didn’t the FAA  think of that?


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