ICAO Adopts UAS-Related Amendments

On 7 March 2012, the Council of ICAO unanimously adopted amendments to Annexes 2 and 7 of the Chicago Convention, achieving a very important milestone for the insertion of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the total aviation system (i.e. not only the airspace, but the body of safety rules which apply to aviation to protect third parties on the ground and other airspace users). The competence of ICAO relates to UAS of any mass, when used in international civil aviation. An operation is ‘international’ even when a UAS registered in a State is carried (e.g. by a van) to take off from an adjacent State.

The new standards were developed by the ICAO UAS Study Group, which consists of 18 State representatives (Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Rep., France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Fed., Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UK, USA), as well as representatives from EASA and EUROCONTROL and 9 international organizations (CANSO, EUROCAE, IAOPA, ICCAIA, IFALPA, IFATCA, NATO, RTCA, and UVS International). These new standards will be applicable from 15 November 2012.

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