|An Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Photo: EASA
[Avionics Today 08-04-2015] The European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) has launched a public consultation for the introduction of a European regulatory framework for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and concrete proposals for the regulation of low-risk UAS operations. The deadline for comments is Sept. 25, after which EASA plans to submit a technical opinion to the European Commission by the end of the year.
The Advanced Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA) follows a risk- and performance-based approach, according to a statement released by the agency, and is progressive- and operation-centric. It introduces three categories of operations as already proposed in the published EASA Concept of Operations for Drones3:
• Open category (low risk): Safety is ensured through operational limitations, compliance with industry standards, requirements on certain functionalities, and a minimum set of operational rules. Police will ensure enforcement.
• Specific operation category (medium risk): Authorization by National Aviation Authorities (NAAs), possibly assisted by a Qualified Entity (QE) following a risk assessment performed by the operator. A manual of operations will list the risk mitigation measures.
• Certified category (higher risk): Requirements comparable to manned aviation requirements. Oversight by NAAs (issue of licenses and approval of maintenance, operations, training, Air Traffic Management (ATM)/Air Navigation Services (ANS) and aerodrome organizations) and by EASA (design and approval of foreign organizations).
The regulatory framework will encompass European rules for all drones in all weight classes.