European transport MEPs support amendments to EU rules on drones


The European Transport and Tourism Committee has approved the updates and amendments made to EU civil aviation safety rules, in order to address emerging risks, safety and privacy concerns.

Also introducing the EU-level requirements for drones, the new updated rules would bring all unmanned aircraft, or drones, within the EU civil aviation framework for the first time.

“Unmanned aircraft have great potential for the future. Many applications are already providing various services, with better quality and results."

Rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu said: “EU aviation safety standards are already high. Even so, the growing use of drones and threats from terrorism and cyber-attacks require new rules to ensure aviation safety and security. At the same time, these rules should be performance and risk-based, ultralight or business aviation should not have to meet the same requirements.

“Unmanned aircraft have great potential for the future. Many applications are already providing various services, with better quality and results. At the same time, without proper discipline, these could give rise to serious safety and security problems. Registration and identification are basic requirements. Unmanned aircraft with a take-off mass higher than 250g and all certified ones should be registered.”

The committee proposal text, which includes provisions for safety management systems at EU and member state levels to identify risks earlier, suggests preparing a draft version of a European Aviation Safety Programme.

In addition, the committee text notes that each EU member state will have the responsibility to establish its own national aviation safety programme.

The member states would also be required to develop a plan that sets out key safety risks for its civil aviation safety system and an action plan to mitigate them.

The EU Commission would be responsible define the detailed safety rules for drone design and drone flights, as well as set out conditions and procedures for mandatory registration, marking and identification of unmanned aircraft.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) would also be empowered to issue directives and recommendations to address aviation-related safety risks.