AiRMOUR report calls for “more work in the urban regulatory domain” – Deliverable 3.1

The SESAR AiRMOUR research project has released the results of a regulatory overview within the field of Unmanned Aerial Mobility (UAM) to ascertain whether these are supportive and covering the needs of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) scenarios. AiRMOUR Deliverable 3.1 sets out the findings.

Traditionally aviation has been regulated only by aviation authorities, except for airport operations, where municipalities and regions control environmental permits including noise. Urban Air Mobility brings aviation closer to the ground and the role of municipalities and regions is expected to grow in the regulation of low-level air traffic, especially with drones and air taxis.

Deliverable 3.1 gives an overview of the important enablers of UAM. Those are the European regulatory bodies, such as the European Commission and EASA. Important industry organisations such as EUROCONTOL and SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is also presented in the report. Furthermore, there are several standardisation organisations in Europe that work intensely within the field of UAM, such as EUROCAE. Besides all the actors within Europe, there are actors outside Europe that play an important role in supporting the development of UAM. The report outlines a few of those, such as ICAO and FAA.

The report sets out the aviation regulatory framework related to UAM and consists of:

  • Rules concerning requirements for the design and manufacture of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) (EU 2019/945)
  • Rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft (EU 2019/947)
  • Rules concerning the establishment of U-space airspace (EU 2021/664)
  • Rules that apply when there is a designated U-space airspace in controlled airspace, where the ANSPs are responsible for conducting a dynamic reconfiguration of the U-space airspace to ensure that manned and unmanned aircraft remain safely segregated (EU 2021/665)
  • Rules concerning the communication of the positions of manned aircraft to U-space service providers, which will allow manned aircraft to safely operate alongside unmanned aircraft in U-space airspace (EU 2021/666)
  • Rules that lay down the fundament of Air Traffic Management and service provision in EU (EU 2017/373).

All the regulations listed above relate to the aviation domain. There are other domains, which need to be regulated, or regulations that needs to be updated, in order to create a predictable and sustainable regulatory environment for UAM. Those domains are ground infrastructure, electronic communication and urban planning. Particular to AiRMOUR, the emergency medical domain is also reviewed. The report shows that several of the domains lack sufficiently clear regulation, and that even the aviation regulation lags behind in its efforts to provide an enabling regulation to meet the needs of the UAM industry.

One of the scenarios within the AiRMOUR project is to deliver blood and medical samples between two predetermined locations. The report studies this use case in detail in four Member States. The conclusions is that even if much of the regulation is similar on a high level in all the countries, it is only in the medical domain that the regulatory requirements are identical across the locations and that much work is yet needed in the aviation and urban regulatory domains to create a true open inner market for UAM services.

EASA has recently presented proposals for new regulations to enable manned operations. Through all the new laws that are being introduced and the work that all stakeholders are doing in this area, it’s a step in the right direction towards enabling UAM. It’s important that all actors cooperate and communicate regarding UAM, so that all the EMS scenarios demonstrated in the AiRMOUR project can become a reality.

Read the report here.

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