EASA explored the preparatory actions required for a future regulatory framework on higher airspace operations (HAO), with the support of a Task Force of European Member States, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and Eurocontrol.
These operations - which do not yet exist at large scale in Europe - can be initially defined as ‘air transport operations carried out by various types of aircraft or vehicle systems in the volume of the airspace above altitudes where the majority of air services are provided today (i.e. above FL 550)’ and may pose safety, security and environmental risks that will need to be addressed, in order to ensure a uniform approach to safety, security and sustainability of air transport in the EU.
The outcome of this reflection work is summarised in the EASA Higher Airspace Operations (HAO) Roadmap delivered to the European Commission on 10 March 2023. This Roadmap recommends a number of progressive actions, focusing initially – for the next 2 to 3 years - on studies, tests and demonstrators, supported for instance by the concept of regulatory sandboxes in order to allow the first operations to take place while learning from these to optimally design the future regulatory framework.
Please send you feed back and questions to the EASA hao [at] easa.europa.eu (HAO team.)