Members of European Parliament have approved an agreement to revise the powers of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The new drone rules will introduce provision on the civil use on drones. This first for EU law has been welcomed by ECR Group transport spokesman Robert Zile. He described the agreement as a sensible and therefore a pragmatic way forward in this rapidly emerging sector.
Commercially available drones have dramatically increased in recent years. This legislation has however, avoided taking a heavy-handed approach. Authorities in Member states have been given flexibility to adopt a risk-based approach to regulating the use of drones. Regulators have future proofed the legislation to allow them to be better equipped to deal with the expected pace of change in the sector, therefore they can also adjust requirements where appropriate.
The agreement states that environment standards for aircraft will continue to be set at the global level. This is via the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), this despite proposals for the Commission to set unilateral EU-only standards. Additional calls for the EU’s EASA to be given the power was thwarted by the ECR Group.
Spokesman Robert Zile stated:
“Drones are set to become an important part of everyday life and we must have rules in place to ensure they are being used the right way and in the public interest. Nobody would have thanked us for setting standards that work today but go out of date tomorrow, therefore regulators have been given the flexibility to assess risks on an ongoing basis and adjust where necessary as the development of the drone sector continues apace.
“While the position of national aviation authorities has rightly been reaffirmed, there is clearly an important role for EASA to play and the vote today provides a very timely update of safety rules across Europe.”
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