Civil drones (Unmanned aircraft)

Introduction

To ensure the free circulation of drones and a level playing field within the European Union EASA has developed common European rules. The approach taken is to apply the highest safety standards achieved in manned aviation to drones as well. The rules are based on an assessment of the risk of operation, and strike a balance between the obligations of drone manufacturers and operators in terms of safety, respect for privacy, the environment, protection against noise, and security.

The new rules ensure that drone operators – whether recreational or professional – will have a clear understanding of what is allowed or not. They will cover each operation type from those not requiring prior permission, to those involving certified aircraft and operators, as well as minimum remote pilot training requirements.

Operators will be able to operate their drones seamlessly when travelling across the EU or when developing a business involving drones around Europe. Common rules will help foster investment and innovation in this promising sector.

Timeline

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Positive vote of EASA Committee The EASA Committee gives its positive vote to the European Commission’s proposal for an Implementing Act regulating the operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the open and specific categories. More info

Read moreFebruary 2019

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Adoption of the delegated act by the European Commission. The EASA proposal of the Delegated Act defining the technical requirements for drones operated in EU, after discussion by the EU Commission and Member states, was adopted by the EU Commission. It was then transmitted to the EU Parliament and Council for the 2 months scrutiny period.
More info

Read moreMarch 2019

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Adoption of Implementing and Delegated Act. Start of transitional period. Since no objections were raised by the EU Parliament or by the EU Council, both Implementing and Delegated Acts are published mid June and enter into force 20 days later. The regulation will become gradually applicable starting from a year after publication. By 2022 the transitional period will be completed and the regulation will be fully applicable. More info

Read moreJune 2019

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Publication of Guidance Material (GM), Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC)
More info

October 2019

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EASA publishes Opinion “Standard scenarios for UAS operations in the ‘specific’ category”
More info

November 2019

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Publication of Opinion on
U-space by EASA

December 2019

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Registration of UAS operators & certified drones becomes mandatory.  Starting from June 2020 all drone operators shall register themselves before using a drone:

  • in the ‘Open’ category, with a weight
    • more than 250g or
    • less then 250g when it is not a toy and it is equipped with a sensor able to capture personal data
  • in the ‘specific’ category .

All certified drones (operated in high risk operations) shall be registered as well. The registration number needs to be displayed on the drone.

June 2020

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Operations in ‘Specific’ category may be conducted after the authorisation given by the National Aviation Authority. Based on:

  • the risk assessment and procedures defined by the EU Regulation
  • Predefined risk assessment published by EASA as an AMC

 

June 2020

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Drone user can start operating in limited ‘Open’ category. Between June 2020 till June 2022:

  • Drones with a weight less than 500g may be operated in an area where reasonably it is expected that no uninvolved person is overflown
  • Drones with weight up to 2 kg may be operated up to 50 m horizontal distance from people
  • Drones with weight up to 25 kg may be operated at 150 m horizontal distance of residential, recreational and industrial areas, in a range where reasonably it is expected that no uninvolved person is overflown during the entire time of the operation

 

June 2020

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National authorisations, certificates, declarations are fully converted to the new EU system Member states need to complete the definition of geographical zones where drones are forbidden or where special authorisation is needed.

Read moreJune 2021

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All model clubs and associations should receive an authorisation by the NAA Member state may provide model clubs and association allowing their members to deviate from all requirements of the EU regulation.

Read moreJune 2022

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