Recently, the European Parliament adopted updated aviation safety rules for Europe including a new mandate for EASA that redefines the Agency’s competences. Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 empowers the Agency to propose to the European Commission the technical expertise to regulate drones of all sizes, including the small ones.
These first EU-wide regulations for civil drones are based on an innovative way of regulating, where the rules are kept as simple as possible with a strong focus on the particular risk of the operations: flying the same drone over a city centre or over the sea entails a completely different risk. It takes into account the expertise of many international players in the drone domain. They will allow remotely piloted aircraft to fly safely in European airspace and bring legal certainty for this rapidly expanding industry.
Before the new EASA Basic regulation was formally adopted, Member States were responsible for all drones lighter than 150 kg. Ahead of the extension of competence EASA decided in February 2018, to issue the proposal for a new regulation – EASA Opinion No 01/20181 – to the European Commission. EASA has been working on this draft regulation for the last two years, taking into account both the expertise gained by Member States and all the developments in the international arena.
The proposed regulation will harmonise operations regulations in Europe and create a common EU market for drones.