Keynote Maurice Labonde, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about International Regulatory Frame work for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

States and industry are caught between needing the societal and business benefits which are best obtained through use of these aircraft and the recognition that the regulations needed for the aircraft, systems, operators, remote pilots, etc don’t yet exist.

By simply applying the same regulations as were developed over decades for manned aviation to unmanned, conflicts arise that are buried deep in the structure of aviation law. The technology, as it is developed and deployed, will facilitate development of realistic standards and will help to mitigate the safety risks currently contributing to the regulators hesitancy to allow operations to occur.

Many of the States that are currently looking to permit Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) within their airspace are focused on Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations in segregated airspace, whereas industry wants access to all airspace. To a great extent, the regulations which have been adopted to date address operational issues; very few address certification, licensing or related fundamental topics. ICAO is focusing on what it will take to facilitate international operations in non-segregated airspace and at aerodromes. This starts with addressing the fundamental issues mandated by the Chicago Convention such as airworthiness and licensing and will eventually lead to standards related to operations within the airspace.

Maurice Labonde
Maurice Labonde is a Technical Officer in the Air Traffic Management Section of the Air Navigation Bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and supports the ICAO Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group. He supports the Secretary by coordinating all developments related to unmanned aircraft systems within the ICAO framework. This includes working with Technical Panels, Study Groups and relevant external bodies on development of Standards and Recommended Practices which will establish the basis for global interoperability and harmonization of UAS.

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