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.