The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a roadmap for Higher Airspace Operations (HAO). The EASA HAO roadmap was delivered to the European Commission on in March 2023. EASA request feedback from the industry to inform the EASA HAO team.
The roadmap recommends a number of progressive actions, focusing initially – for the next 2 to 3 years – on studies, tests and demonstrators, supported for instance by the concept of regulatory sandboxes in order to allow the first operations to take place while learning from these to optimally design the future regulatory framework.
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EASA explored the preparatory actions required for a future regulatory framework on higher airspace operations (HAO), with the support of a Task Force of European Member States, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and Eurocontrol.
EASA initially defines these operations – which do not yet exist at large scale in Europe – as ‘air transport operations carried out by various types of aircraft or vehicle systems in the volume of the airspace above altitudes where the majority of air services are provided today (i.e. above FL 550)’ may pose safety, security and environmental risks that will need to be addressed, in order to ensure a uniform approach to safety, security and sustainability of air transport in the EU.
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