European Commission Adopts EU-wide Rules Setting Technical Requirements for Drones

“The European Commission today [March 12, 2019] adopted common EU-wide rules setting technical requirements for drones. They will set features and capabilities that drones must have in order to be flown safely and, at the same time, help foster investment and innovation in this promising sector.  The EU rules build on national rules that were in place and now provide a harmonized framework across the European Union. . .

“The rules are based on an assessment of the risk of operation, and strike a balance between the obligations of drone manufacturers and operators in terms of safety, respect for privacy, the environment, protection against noise, and security. For example, new drones will have to be individually identifiable, allowing the authorities to trace a particular drone if necessary.

“In addition to the technical requirements for drones adopted today, the Commission intends to adopt provisions covering the operation of drones. The rules will cover each operation type, from those not requiring prior permission, to those involving certified aircraft and operators, as well as minimum remote pilot training requirements. These technical and operational rules will also replace any national rules on drones that may currently exist in the different Member States. From 2020, drones will have to be registered with national authorities.”

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