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EU harmonises drone regulations
The European Commission has adopted EU-wide rules. © SESAR

EU harmonises drone regulations

The European Commission, supported by EASA, has adopted common EU-wide rules setting technical requirements for drones.

The European Commission has adopted common EU-wide rules setting technical requirements for drones. They will set features and capabilities that drones must have in order to be flown safely and are designed to help foster investment and innovation in this sector.

The new rules build on existing national regulations and now provide a harmonised framework across the European Union.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said the decision was vital for the further development of the European drone sector. She described the rules as a first building block for a comprehensive set of rules, which will ensure safe, secure and green drone operations throughout the European Union.

The approach taken by the Commission, with the support of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is to apply the highest safety standards achieved in manned aviation to drones as well. The rules are based on an assessment of the risk of operation. They aim to strike a balance between the obligations of drone manufacturers and operators in terms of safety, respect for privacy, the environment, protection against noise, and security.

As part of the new requirements, new drones will have to be individually identifiable, allowing the authorities to trace a particular drone if necessary.

The Commission also intends to adopt provisions covering drone operations. The rules will cover all types of operation, from those not requiring prior permission, to those involving certified aircraft and operators, as well as minimum remote pilot training requirements.

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