The RPAS CivOps 2019 conference, the seventh annual European Civil RPAS Operators & Operations Forum, took place in Madrid, Spain on 23 and 24 January 2019. Its theme was “Harmonizing National Regulatory Approaches”. At the conclusion of the conference, the delegates agreed that the necessary way forward relative to the implementation of the upcoming EU-wide drone regulation was based on increased coordination and cooperation between the European national drone communities.
This opinion was reflected by the Madrid Declaration of Intent, which was published at the conclusion of the conference.
The event was attended by delegates from Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand. South Africa, the USA and Venezuela. It was organized by Blyenburgh and Co under the auspices of UVS International and was hosted by Spanish regulator AESA.
|Madrid Declaration of Intent
In the context of:
• The European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) new Basic Regulation [Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018];
• The creation of a new field of competences regarding unmanned aircraft regardless of mass, as established by EASA’s new Basic Regulation;
• The creation of a new risk-based approach concerning drone operations, as established by EASA’s new Basic Regulation;
• The creation of the new U-Space concept, and subsequently U-Space demonstrator projects funded by the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU);
• The engagement of cities and local communities in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-SCC).
• The European Commission’s creation, with the support of EUROCONTROL, EASA & SESAR JU, of the European U-Space Demonstrator Network (connecting SESAR JU’s U-Space demonstrator and EIP-SCC’s urban air mobility demonstrator projects);
• The rapid development of new technologies and drone-related business models;
• The significant development of drone operators, principally Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), including start-ups;
• Drone and U-Space technologies forming an integral part of smart mobility;
• The requirement for implementing rules to open the drone services market;
• The requirement for the development of an institutional, regulatory and architectural framework for a competitive U-Space services market, and the subsequent establishment of performance requirements by the competent authorities;
• The required integration of U-Space and Air Traffic Management (ATM);
• The necessity to redefine the boundaries and interfaces of urban and public space as they will be expanding into the third dimension.
The European drone communities note that:
• They currently practically all have a national drone regulation in place;
• The European Commission and its agencies require to continue the work with the public/privates partnerships on several issues of importance, in order to reach an EU consensus, for the effective implementation of the European drone regulation;
• A significant number of issues still need to be addressed to ensure a high and harmonized level of safety at EU level and to facilitate cross-border operations;
• Currently, the concept of U-Space has not been clearly defined and in this context a U-Space service provision regulation will be required;
• There are significant drone operator communities in most of the countries in the EU;
• Research & development investments are still required in various drone-related fields;
• Keeping the general public correctly informed & meeting societal expectations is of prime importance;
• They share a common view relative to internationally favourably positioning the European drone-related manufacturing, operating and service supply communities.
In view of the aforementioned, with the objective of contributing to EU harmonization subject to the availability of resources, the representatives of the European drone communities present at the RPAS CivOps 2019 conference declare their intent to endeavour to:
• Coordinate their national drone-related regulatory activities;
• Cooperate to define consensual positions on drone-related matters, by means of joint working groups, and by sharing documents of relevance;
• Explore coordinated contributions to the creation of an institutional framework for U-Space services;
• Share knowledge and exchange information on funded drone-related R&D & demonstrator programmes;
• Share their respective experiences on possible standard scenarios for the “Specific” operational category;
• Share knowledge & experience, and exchange information on nationally defined positions relative to drone-related safety, and if possible on security, data protection & privacy, and environmental matters, and to come to consensual positions relative to these matters;
• Share knowledge & experience, and exchange information on drone-related operational matters with the objective to be able to inform the press and the general public on the societal benefits, and demonstrate compliance with societal expectations.