Regulatory Deliberation on UAS is not confined to US; the EU’s regime will be issued in 2016

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ARTICLE: European Commission Vows ‘Tough’ Regulation of UAVs

The clamor for UAS rules has been almost deafening and in particular the most vociferous voices have demanded expedition All of this intense interest in regulatory action derives from almost unequaled commercial potential of new micrified and amplified aviation business. The critics point at the FAA as inhibiting the UAS explosion by its delay in issuing the regulations.

The linked article shows that the US situation is not all that bad. In Europe, the RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft system) industry will have no uniform rules until 2016, two years later than the FAA’s statutory deadline and three years from the setting of a mandate by the European Commission.

The words of the European Commission’s Vice President for Transportation and Mobility, Siim Kallas, are even more ominous:

“[M]any people, including myself, have concerns about the safety, security and privacy issues relating to these devices…If ever there was a right time to do this, and to do this at a European level, it is now.”

Those words portend a tight regulatory rein.

Echoing some of the US legal attacks on the FAA’s valid assertion of jurisdiction , the AINonline article quotes Spain’s State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) issued a statement on April 7 that it “is not permitted and never has been” to operate these vehicles on a commercial basis. The Spanish position parallels the FAA’s assertion:

“We must emphasize that drones are aircraft. As such, they are subject to legislation currently in force in Spain [for] general aviation, as well as the rest of regulatory aeronautics…There is the mistaken belief, in that layer of airspace that extends from the ground up to 400 feet, you can fly with these devices without restrictions.”

Aviation is a universal phenomenon; it is good (comforting?) to note that the US’s domestic UAS deliberation in issuing the regulatory regime is occurring in other countries.

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