Towards a European Strategy for the Development of Civil Applications of RPAS

The European Commission’s (EC) Staff Working Paper (SWD) entitled “Towards a European strategy for the development of civil applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems”, which summarizes the conclusions of its UAS Panel process and provides an understanding on the issues at stake, and the actions needed, was published on 4 September 2012.

This document recommends the start-up of the European RPAS Steering Group (ERSG). As the internal EC process to validate this document has been rather long (and was hampered by the summer holidays), and the because the EC is aware of the importance of the timing of this initiative, the creation of the ERSG was initiated by the EC prior to the publication of the EC SWD.

The ERSG kick-off meeting took place on 6 July 2012.

The ERSG is co-chaired by the EC’s Directorate-General Enterprise & Industry and Directorate-General Mobility & Transport, and is composed of representatives of the relevant EC services, as well as representatives from the main European stakeholders involved with RPAS (Directorate General Research, EASA, ECAC, EDA, ESA, Eurocontrol, JARUS, SESAR, ASD, EUROCAE, UVS International), and ad hoc experts.

The ERSG has as objective to foster the development of civil RPAS by planning and coordinating all the activities necessary to achieve the safe and incremental integration of RPAS into European air traffic by 2016 (with harmonized rules for RPAS <150 kg & common rules for RPAS >150 kg).

The ERSG is responsible to develop, prior to 31 December 2012, a comprehensive yearly updatable roadmap defining milestones, the distribution of tasks among the stakeholders, and the timeframe for the integration of civil RPAS in the European airspace, and subsequently to monitor the roadmap’s implementation. To tackle the preparation of this roadmap, the ERSG has established 3 working groups (Regulatory Matters ; Research & Development ; Complementary Measures) with designated rapporteurs, and an Integration Team, which will coordinate the inputs prepared by the 3 working groups and will ensure that all topics required to produce the roadmap are covered.

A copy of the document can be downloaded here.

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