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EU-wide rules on drones published

Europe will be “the first region in the world with a comprehensive set of rules ensuring safe, secure and sustainable operations of drones”.

Common European rules on drones were published on June 11 to ensure that drone operations across Europe are safe and secure, the European Commission reports.

The rules will among other things help to protect the safety and the privacy of European Union citizens while enabling the free circulation of drones and a level playing field within the EU, the commission said.

“Europe will be the first region in the world to have a comprehensive set of rules ensuring safe, secure and sustainable operations of drones, both for commercial and leisure activities” said Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). “Common rules will help foster investment, innovation and growth in this promising sector.”

Drone tracing
The common rules, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 & Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947, will help drone operators, whether professional or recreational, to have a clear understanding of what is allowed and not allowed.

At the same time they enable them to operate across borders. Once drone operators have received authorisation in the state of registration, they are allowed to freely circulate across the EU.

The new rules include technical and operational requirements. For instance, new drones will have to be individually identifiable, allowing the authorities to trace a particular machine if necessary, which will help to better prevent events like those in 2018 at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

They also cover minimum remote pilot training requirements. EASA says it will soon publish guidance material to support drone operators comply with the rules.

The new rules will replace existing national rules in EU member states.

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