The European Commission has today proposed to set tough new standards to regulate the operations of civil drones (or "remotely piloted aircraft sytems" – RPAS). The new standards will cover safety, security, privacy, data protection, insurance and liability. The aim is to allow European industry to become a global leader in the market for this emerging technology, while at the same time ensuring that all the necessary safeguards are in place.

Civil drones are increasingly being used in Europe, in countries such as Sweden, France and the UK, in different sectors, but under a fragmented regulatory framework. Basic national safety rules apply, but the rules differ across the EU and a number of key safeguards are not addressed in a coherent way.

The new standards will cover the following areas:

  • Strict EU wide rules on safety authorisations. 
  • Tough controls on privacy and data protection.
  • Controls to ensure security. 
  • A clear framework for liability and insurance.
  • Streamlining R&D and supporting new industry.


E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • MR60

    @Stefan, forunately there Ara not yet laws. It is work in progress with an official planning to have a defined legislative proposal in 2016, which means in pratice +10 years by the time they will all agree in this inefficient bureaucratic EU organization.

    Meaning we have thus time to react and counter propose our vision and suggestions to the highest level of the commission. If you are ready, I am ready to start building a lobby for our community. I live in Brussels which is a good place to start... PM me if you want to discuss how we could (re)act.


  • I don't consider asking thousands of Euros from hobbyists for licenses to operate a hobby toy which costs merely a tenth of this licensing fees "working well".

    I don't consider declaring all FPV planes "surveillance aircraft" and putting up that 50m rule "working well".

    As I wrote before, all European countries have sufficient privacy protection laws. The case here is that mostly left-wing and green activists who fear police use of drones started very loud campaigning, covering their fear of the police up with a general "privacy concern" blanket. As a result, you get those absurd rules like the British "surveillance aircraft" and 50m rule. Why is that absurd? Very easy: All current privacy protection laws base on the idea that one does not have any expectation of privacy in public space, which is absolutely reasonable. This British law negates this now by saying, an FPV pilot must keep a distance of minimum 50m from a single person. Cleartext this means: You fly FPV somewhere in the fields and suddenly a person comes within 50m of your plane which you didn't notice before, you can get fined for "operating a surveillance aircraft less than 50m from a person". Without an FPV plane, you could take photos of this person all day long, with a tele-lens, closeup, whatever you like, because then the other law is applicable which says that a person does not have any expectation of privacy in public space.

    And the most absurd thing is that the police and other authorities - which were the original target of those campaigns - will not at all be influenced by those rules because - without doubt - they will get their exempt regulations.

    And I generally find the mere notion to regulate a 2kg foam R/C plane the same way as a 448000kg Jumbo Jet absurd and totally ridiculous, because they are not the same things and it's simply not necessary. It's harmful to society and it's harmful to progress. The only ones which benefit from that are big corporations and those new accreditation providers.

  • Moderator

    There are other companies that offer similar for less  http://uas.resourcegroup.co.uk/ The rules are working well in the UK why would they not work in the rest of Europe? ICAO is moving forward with it's plans so this is going to be an international thing. Why do people think this is not going to happen? 

    If you think it's expensive in the UK try and find out what the DHS test sites or any or the six are planning on charging in the US.

  • A taste of things to come for small operators and hobbyists:

    Ground course, theory and exam: GBP 800 (EUR 971, USD 1340)

    Operational assessment & flight operations exam: GBP 550 (EUR 668, USD 921)

    Assurance of airworthiness, Self-Build from kit or ARTF or own sourced components: GBP 1900 (EUR 2307, USD 3182)

    That's from EuroUSC, one of those companies specialized on those wonderful new rules.

    Guys WAKE UP! That's NOT about safety or sensible regulation! That's about politicians trying to show that they do something and about big business. Nothing more and nothing less!

    And that is just the start! Once those rules are actually in effect, prices will rise because people don't have a choice but pay them.

  • I'm so happy to be outside EU, living in Norway :-)

    I  Love my country and today is a historical date for us as well.

  • Yes, I'm afraid that stefan is right, these regulations have little to do with safety and everything to do with incorporating the industry. Hopefully they leave the hobbyist alone, but it is becoming such a big market now that the commercial manufacturers would be feeling very threatened by low cost open source projects that offer more functionality and redundancy.

    When that happens, all they can do is play the certification and training cards which are difficult for an open source community to deliver.

  • That is some really really bad news... If Stefan has it right then DIY community is at stake. I would seriously prefer to turn alcohol into illegal product rather having things take this route. 

  • I agree absolutely with Stefan!

    You are totally right Stefan. I have just created a company (my first one) around my biggest passion (UAVs) and it seems it will not last a single flight.

    Only big actors capable of paying big amounts of money for certification and accreditation will operate.

    I am really skeptical about this legislation.

    I work for Airbus Military and see every day how much it cost to "certificate" any silly piece of equipment in order to mark it as "flyable". If the requirements to UAVs comes anything close to that (when I say close I mean even many fractions of it).... then we are out  

  • @ Stefan: Being a French citizen, in one of the worst bureaucratic country in the world, I can testimony that this is going to generate more troubles than benefits for the DIYers!

  • @Gary:

    I wrote about this a couple of months ago. I do have some "inside" information about what is planned and what is the goal of that lobby organization and as they are yet the only one lobbying, they pretty much made their case.

    I agree that getting rules in place is important but not THAT kind of rules. Rules should be made by people who actually know what they are doing and who have some common sense. Not by politicians who don't know anything about the technology and already existing laws and just do what the people who scream loudest (in this case the red and green "drone skeptics") or the people with the biggest lobby-budget tell them.

    Another problem is that in politician language, "rule" equals "restriction" or "prohibition". The idea that rules can actually be permissive is completely incompatible with a politician's mind.

This reply was deleted.