NPA 2017-05

Introduction of a regulatory framework for the operation of drones — Unmanned aircraft system operations in the open and specific category

Table 2 of NPA 2017-05 (A) has been updated according to Table 8 of NPA 2017-05 (B)

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (hereinafter referred to at the ‘Basic Regulation’), the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 150 kg falls within the competence of the European Union (EU) Member States (MSs). This leads to a fragmented regulatory system hampering the development of a single EU market for UAS and cross-border UAS operations. A new proposed Basic Regulation (hereinafter referred to as ‘the new Basic Regulation’), currently under discussion between the Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament, aims to solve this issue, by extending the competence of the EU to regulate all UAS regardless of their MTOM.
In view of the adoption of this new Regulation, the objective of this Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2017-05 is:

  • to ensure an operation-centric, proportionate, risk- and performance-based regulatory framework for all UAS operations conducted in the open and specific category;
  • to ensure a high and uniform level of safety for UAS;
  • to foster the development of the UAS market; and
  • to contribute to enhancing privacy, data protection, and security.

This NPA proposes to create a new regulation (hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX’) defining the measures to mitigate the risk of operations in:

  • the open category through a combination of limitations, operational rules, requirements for the competence of the remote pilot, as well as technical requirements for the UAS; and
  • the specific category through a system including a risk assessment conducted by the operator before starting an operation, or the operator complying with a standard scenario, or the operator holding a certificate with privileges.

Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX will provide flexibility to MSs mainly by allowing them to create zones on their territory where the use of UAS would be prohibited, limited or on the contrary facilitated.
Pursuant to new Basic Regulation, market product legislation (CE marking) ensures compliance with the technical requirements for mass-produced UAS operated in the open category. A dedicated Annex (Part-MRK) to Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX is proposed to define the conditions for making UAS available on the market.
Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX is expected to increase the level of safety of UAS operations, harmonise legislation among the EU MSs, as well as create an EU market that will reduce the cost of the UAS and allow cross-border operations.
Note: sub-NPA 2017-05 (A) contains the explanatory note and the proposed draft rules, whereas sub-NPA 2017-05 (B) contains the full impact assessment (IA) for this RMT.