Australian regulator publishes summary of feedback on draft RPAS, AAM strategic roadmap

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Agency (CASA) has published a summary of feedback on its consultation on the draft Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Strategic Regulatory Roadmap ahead of publication later this month. The consultation, which closed in April, asked industry if our approach to aviation safety regulations for drones and AAM over the next 10 years and beyond had been captured.

On 6 May 2021, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released the National Emerging Aviation Technologies (NEAT) Policy Statement. This statement tasked CASA with producing a safety regulatory roadmap RPAS and AAM. CASA developed the initial roadmap with industry experts between July 2021 and January 2022 by setting up a technical working group under the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel.

Feedback

CASA received 109 responses to the consultation:

  • Commercial Remotely Piloted Aircraft: 34
  • Model aircraft: 26
  • Training organisations: 4
  • Industry associations: 4
  • Government: 10
  • Other aviation: 12
  • Other: 19

According to CASA, the responses were positive and constructive. The feedback we received revealed some common themes, including:

  • the roadmap should be reviewed regularly to make sure it continues to reflect the needs of industry
  • the timelines noted will not keep pace with the anticipated development of technology in these areas
  • emergency services should be included as an individual use case
  • the needs of the sports and recreation community were not addressed in the roadmap.

CASA considered all feedback and plans to incorporate changes and further clarify content in the final roadmap. To address the above themes, CASA intends to report on and review this roadmap regularly. A short section will be included in the final published version of the roadmap outlining this intent.

CASA also note that the development of new technologies will likely outpace our regulatory change processes. However, we will look to use tools such as regulatory sandboxes and digital enablement to help keep up with the progression of technology in support of future regulatory processes.

The requirements for emergency services operations was considered under various use cases during the development of the roadmap. To make sure consultation feedback is reflected, we have changed the ‘operations’ section to clarify our intention to consider ways for improving approval processes for RPAS and AAM use in emergency service operations.

In response to the feedback regarding the sports and recreational community, extra activities will be added to the final roadmap to better address the needs of this sector.

CASA has added changes and expansions to the roadmap to better clarify the original meaning and intent. CASA has also added recreational accreditation to the roadmap, noting its deferment from 2022 to 2023.

Next steps

The RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap will be published by the end of June 2022.

For more information contact:

www.casa.gov.au

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