UAS – RPAS Integration

In ATM, we usually see new developments as an evolutionary process. However, with RPAS, it feels more like a revolution owing to the fast pace of developments. We now have 15 States in Europe where visual line of sight (VLOS) operations are taking place on a regular basis, either through national regulation or special authorisation. Some States are also allowing below visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations to take place (below 500ft).

Our work with other international bodies continues and will be expanded as much as possible. In the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) study group we are now directly involved in the drafting of 10 of the 15 chapters of the UAS manual. We support EASA & JARUS1 for regulatory developments and the two relevant EUROCAE working groups with their ongoing standardisation work. We have also developed generic training material for the mid-air collision avoidance system (MIDCAS) real-time simulation that is taking place this month.

From the military perspective, several countries are addressing the integration aspect either by creating large training areas or by creatively using segregation to ensure access to non-segregated airspace. One country will operationally accept Euro Hawk later this year as more and more countries allow military RPAS to be used under State-specific conditions. This is encouraging overall but it shows the need to continue our work on harmonised integration both in the civil and military area.

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