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UK pilots welcome EU drones regulation

Pilots have welcomed the announcement of an update to EU civil aviation safety rules to address the emerging risks of drones.

The rules were amended and approved by Transport and Tourism Committee MEPs on Thursday 10th November and the updated EU regulation will also introduce the EU-level requirements for drones, to ensure safety and privacy.

These rules will include official EU-wide criteria for registration and operator licensing. Currently drones lighter than 150kg fall under national competence. The draft regulation sets out essential safety requirements for unmanned aircraft design, production, maintenance and operation, parts and control equipment as well as personnel and organisations involved.

According to the European Commission, civil drone technology could account for an estimated 10% of the EU aviation market within the next 10 years (about €15 billion per year) and create some 150,000 jobs in the EU by 2050.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“Pilots welcome the proposed updates to EU civil aviation safety rules in response to the increased use of drones in our air space.

“We fully recognise the many benefits drones bring but we need to ensure they are introduced in a safe and sensible manner.

“BALPA has been calling for tougher regulation on drones for some time now so we’re pleased to see some of our calls are being answered.”

More information on the proposed updates can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20161107IPR50386/aviation-safety-transport-meps-back-draft-eu-rules-on-drones-and-emerging-risks