EU Regulations Stakeholders
The European Parliament and the Council
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are the main co-decision-making bodies of the European Union. Under the ordinary legislative procedure, they are responsible for the negotiation and adoption of new EU laws based on proposals from the European Commission. Since 2015, both Institutions are actively working on the adoption of the first ever EU-wide rules for civil drones. More information about the ongoing reform is available on the website of the Parliament (here) and the Council (here).
The European Commission
The EC is the executive body of the European Union (EU). It has four main roles including the submission of legislative proposals to Parliament and the Council. Following the principle of subsidiarity, the EC estimated that an action was necessary at European level to regulate the drone industry more efficiently. A European Commission Strategy was consequently published in 2014 and later endorsed by the aviation community in the Riga Declaration. Today, EC services driving the ongoing reform are Directorate General Mobility and Transport (website) and Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (website). The EC is also supported in its mission by EASA and other EU technical bodies.
The European Aviation Safety Agency
EASA is an executive agency of the EC with regulatory and executive tasks in the field of civil aviation (e.g. safety inspections, certification, etc.). EASA also provides expert advice to the EC in the field of civil drones and drafts the future European drone regulatory framework. More information about the current EASA proposal for the “open” and “specific” category is available on the EASA website (here).
National Aviation Authority
The European aviation safety system is based on the sharing of tasks and responsibilities between the EU and its Member States. In this system, National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) are responsible for the implementation of EU legislation and safety oversight at a national level. After the adoption of the EU reform on drone rules, NAAs will be responsible for the enforcement and safety oversight in the “Certified” and “open” category. They will be in their new tasks by EASA (e.g. by pooling and sharing resources) and the national qualified entities. A list of NAAs per country is available on our website (here).
National Qualified Entity (NQE)
EASA and the National Aviation Authorities are allowed to delegate certain tasks to organisations which possess the necessary skills and technical experience. In the future, a National Qualified Entity (NQE) will assist the Member States in the implementation of the European drone regulations in the “specific” category (e.g. by delivering authorisation to operators after careful assessment of the necessary documents). As stated in the European legislation, a NQE always remain under the control and responsibility of a NAA.
National Market Surveillance Authorities
EU Member States must ensure the proposer surveillance of their markets to guarantee that mass-market products are compliant with EU harmonisation requirements. In the future, National Market Surveillance Authorities will be responsible for the enforcement of EU rules in the “Open” category. By verifying that mass-produced drones placed on the market are labeled with the “CE marking” and sold with a Safety Information Notice. More information is available on the website of Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (here).
The SESAR Joint Undertaking
SESAR JU is responsible for the technological & operational aspects of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative to meet future capacity and air safety needs. Founded in 2007 by the EU & EUROCONTROL to coordinate all relevant research & development efforts, its mission is to develop a modernised air traffic management system for Europe. SESAR JU actively works on the development of innovative solutions to allow the safe integration of drones in the airspace. It recently received a mandate from the EC to initiate preparatory work on the concept of “U-Space” to enable the use of fully automated drones in the low-level airspace. SESAR JU also co-finances U-Space demonstration projects across Europe. More information is available on the SESAR JU website (here).
EUROCONTROL is an intergovernmental organisation based in Brussels responsible for the coordination and planning of Air Traffic Control (ATC) for all Europe. EUROCONTROL also supports its Member States and the European Commission to provide safe and efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM) services. EUROCONTROL assists the aviation community for the development of new technologies to integrate drones in the airspace. It also organises RPAS training courses in Luxembourg and online webinars. More information is available on the EUROCONTROL website (here).
Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems
JARUS is a group of experts from international National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) and regional aviation safety organisations. Its purpose is to recommend a single set of technical, safety and operational requirements for the certification and safe integration of UAS into airspace. JARUS also provides guidance material to NAA to avoid duplicate efforts including a risk assessment template that will be mandatory for the “specific” category in the future EU regulations. More information is available on the JARUS website (here).
The European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises
EASME was created in 2013 by the European Commission several EU programmes on its behalf. EASME currently finances the DroneRules project in order to inform (potential) SMEs and entrepreneurs about the rules applicable to drones in the field of safety, insurance, privacy, and data protection. EASME also manages part of the H2020 research and innovation programme and the SME Instrument. More information is available on the website of EASME (here).
In recent years, the need for traffic management focused on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) emerged in many parts of the world. This UAS traffic management system (UTM) would ensure safe operation of a large number of drones at low-altitude (especially in urban areas). As traditional air traffic management (ATM) ensures the safety of aircraft operations at high altitude, so does UTM at a lower altitude. The Commission mandated the SESAR JU to lead the development of a UTM concept for Europe, called U-Space. A blueprint was released in June 2017 with a preliminary vision for the U-space. It consists of a set of services enabling complex drone operations in all types of operational environments
Source: European Commission
Last updated : 27 April 2018