Inside GNSS Media & Research

JUL-AUG 2019

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42 Inside GNSS J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 operations, in many ways exceed- ing the complexity of rules currently established on the member states' level. Overarching is the principle of an oper- ations-centric, risk-based approach. This means that basically three ele- ments determine how an unmanned aircra may be operated and what the operational requirements are: (i) The technical capabilities and characteristics of the unmanned air- cra: e.g. its maximum take-off mass (MTOM); video and audio recording capabilities; guidance-, control- and safety systems; etc.; (ii) the characteristics of the operation and operational environment, e.g. flight near or above people, residential areas, planned maximum above ground level of flight, transport of dangerous goods or people etc.; and (iii) UAS operator's responsibilities and remote pilot's competencies. As mentioned, the Basic Regulation expands the EU competence to all unmanned aircra (UA), regardless of weight. It provides the basis and grants the legal competence for the adoption of the Implementing and Delegated Regulations, both accompanied by Annexes with more details on technical requirements. It's to be supplemented by acceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance (material) currently avail- able in a dra version. It is also the instrument's declared aim to establish three foundations for the upcoming development of airspace for urban UAS operations ("U-Space"), being registration, geo-awareness and remote identification. Open, Specific or Satisfied As a cornerstone of the EU UAS-rules, the Implementing Regulation defines the three main categories for UAS operations. "OPEN": At this point of the legislative process, only the "open" category has been finalized in great detail. Under it, unmanned aircra may be operated without authorization. For this, all three operational aspects—technical/char- acteristics/operator—have to comply with the requirements specified for the "open" category. To not limit access to this category too much while still apply- ing the operation-centric and risk-based approach, three sub-categories (A1 to A3) are in turn linked to five differ- ent classes of unmanned aircraft (C0 to C4), based on their MTOM and the three operational aspects. Only if the combined requirements are fulfilled can the operation be considered to fall in the "open" category and commence without further authorization. Otherwise, the operation will be subject to the "specific" or even the "certified" category. "SPECIFIC": Authorization under this category requires the UAS operator to undertake and submit an individual risk assessment of the planned operation to the competent local authority, unless the operation can be shown to comply with a "standard scenario." Such a declara- tion of compliance with this scenario then merely needs to be verified by the local authority for completeness, and operations can start right away. While anxiously awaited by the drone com- munity, the "standard" scenarios, which also include beyond visual line of sight operation (BVLOS), are currently not published in Appendix 1 to the Annex of t he Implementing Reg u lations. Nevertheless, already interesting is the possibility to either receive authoriza- tions for a number of operations speci- fied in time and/or location(s) or to make declarations based on national "standard" scenarios that may fill the lacunae for as long as this level of sce- nario is not adopted on the European level. Also of interest for professional drone users is the possibility for legal entities to obtain a so-called "light UAS operator certificate" (LUC) for one-time authorizations for companies that regu- larly use UAS in specific scenarios. "CERTIFIED": Category rules have also not yet been provided in detail, but this third category can be expected to apply to heavyweight operations, typically in high-risk scenarios comparable to cur- rent manned aviation, including the transport of people and carriage of dan- gerous goods. Accordingly, it will not only require certification of the UAS but also of the UAS operator and, where applicable, the licensing of the remote pilot. Registration Requirements The Implementing Regulation a lso introduces registration requirements. "THIS SHIFT OF COMPETENCE FROM MEMBER STATES TO THE EU FOR PRACTICALLY ALL NON-MILITARY AIRCRAFT INDEED MARKS THE BASIS FOR ALL FUTURE HARMONIZATION IN LAW REGARDING UNMANNED AIRCRAFT WITHIN THE UNION." UAS & THE LAW CATEGORY CURRENT STATUS AUTHORIZ ATION LEVEL FULFILLMENT METRICS "Open" Finalized None MTOM, operational scenarios, report pilot capacities "Specific" Pending definition of standard scenarios Declaration of standard scenarios; otherwise individual risk assessment of operation submitted to competent local authority; possible one-time "light UAS operator" certificate BVLOS scenarios pending; national standard scenarios may fill in "Certified" Pending Expected to apply to heavyweight operations, typically in high-risk scenarios Certification of both UAS and operator; where applicable, licensing of remote pilot NEW EU-REGULATION DRONE AUTHORIZATION CATEGORIES

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