European Defence Agency promotes guidelines for safe integration of RPAS into general airspace

The European Defence Agency (EDA) is sponsoring a project to support the development of guidelines for the standardisation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the safe integration of military RPAS into general airspace. Standardisation is a key enabler for the certification of remote pilot stations (RPS) which, in turn, has the potential of paving the way for future military RPAS operations while ensuring a safer airspace for all European citizens.

RPAS are composed of three main elements: A remotely piloted aircraft; a command and control data link; and the remote pilot station. The correct integration of these three elements is central to the programme. EDS is committed to the development of standards for large and tactical RPAS in close cooperation with stakeholders including NATO, EASA, Eurocontrol, the European Commission, SESAR Joint Undertaking, and Eurocae.

The EDA project includes Airbus, GMV and ALTER Technology TUV Nord, working in close collaboration with Eurocae. Eurocae is currently developing the minimum operational performance standards for remote pilot stations, focusing on airworthiness and air traffic integration requirements. To support this activity, a realistic validation campaign is being carried out in Airbus Defence and Space facilities. Here, a simulation environment creates scenarios featuring remote pilots and air traffic controllers to test interactions between the different elements.

The project paves the way for future military RPAS operations, ensuring a safer airspace.

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