Aviation Strategy: EU at forefront of safe drone operations

 The European Union today published a set of common rules for safe and secure drones operations, an important milestone under the Commission's Aviation Strategy for Europe. The technical opinion released today by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), has kept the rules as simple as possible with a strong focus on the risk of the operation. Flying the same drone over a city center or over the sea entails a completely different risk. This "risk-based" approach is best suited to address the safety challenges posed by drones without creating red-tape or stifling innovation. Common European rules will also cement the internal market for drones and drone-related services and therefore contribute to the EU's global leadership in this booming sector. This comes only two months after the European Parliament and the Member States agreed to make the EU competent for drone legislation. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said "A clean, safe and secure drone ecosystem in Europe is now becoming a reality, as we move to the implementation phase of our rules. Work also continues in parallel on the U-space to develop a modern airspace management system for safe drone operations in our skies." The EU is breaking new ground by combining product and aviation legislation, which will ensure the highest safety and security standards and support the competitiveness of the EU's aviation industry.  Next steps: On the basis of this technical opinion the European Commission will adopt concrete regulatory proposals later in the year, which will in turn help deliver the target of getting drone services up and running in the U-space by the end of 2019. For further information: EASA press release.

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