Written by Shona Smith on Aug 14, 2019. Posted in General Interest

European Union publishes common European rules on drones

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a set of rules to ensure safe, secure and sustainable operation of the equipment.

The new rules will relate to the operation of drones for commercial and leisure activities in EU member states. Consistent regulation will also enable those certified to operate across EU borders more easily.

Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA noted that “Europe will be the first region in the world to have a comprehensive set of rules ensuring safe, secure and sustainable operations of drones both, for commercial and leisure activities. Common rules will help foster investment, innovation and growth in this promising sector”. EU Member States and operators will have until June next year to prepare and implement the new rules.

A tool well used by productions when filming on location, film offices are increasingly implementing drone policies. On a larger scale, the new EU rules lay out technical as well as operational requirements for drones, setting out clear understanding of what is allowed or not, and define the capabilities a drone must have to be flown safely. For instance, new drones will be individually identifiable so that authorities can trace specific drones if necessary, in an effort to prevent events like those that caused chaos – and over a thousand cancelled flights – at Gatwick and Heathrow Airports in 2018.

The common set of rules means that drones will be operated across European borders without worries regarding differences in regulations. The statement put out by the EASA explains that “once drone operators have received an authorisation in the state of registration, they are allowed to freely circulate in the European Union. This means that they can operate their drones seamlessly when travelling across the EU or when developing a business involving drones across Europe”.

The new rules replace existing national rules in EU Member States, and as of June 2020 operators of drones will need to register in the Member State where they have their residence, or main place of business. Guidance material will soon be published to support operators.

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