The new EASA drone regulatory framework proposal makes perfect sense
The European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency, EASA, unveiled their latest regulatory framework to be proposed to the governing body by December. The framework focuses on how to incorporate UAS in modern life. EASA refers to UAS with a few different terms: UAS (unmanned aircraft systems), RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems), and finally just drones. EASA understands that most people don’t know what UAS or RPAS mean, but they understand what the word drone means. An interesting aspect of the EASA’s framework is that the “Aviation authorities will have no involvement in these operations, even for commercial operations.” Further, the local police will oversee the small UAS, as long is they stay within flight boundaries. Visual line of sight and a max ceiling of 150 meters is required, fairly standard operating procedure. EASA goes further to define categories, Open, which I’ve described above, Specific, and Certified. Specific relates to operations that “pose significant aviation risks to persons on the ground or which involve sharing airspace.” EASA describes what the requirements are for this type of operation. Certified relates to operations that “pose aviation risks akin to normal manned aviation operations. These operations and the aircraft involved will be treated like ordinary aircraft in the classic aviation sense.” Essentially, Open will be the brunt of UAS operations, Specific will be fore very specific operations or with midsize crafts, and Certified will relate to crafts that are as large as commercial aircraft. EASA understands that the technology to fly both a DJI Phantom and Boeing 787 completely unmanned is available. No we won’t see pilotless cockpits in commercial or freighter aircraft anytime soon, but the EASA understands that down the road this will happen.