The EU Commission has promised to help European drone makers, the EU Observer reports. As the commission met on Monday in Brussels, discussions of transport regulation centered around issues of competition, as transport commissioner Violet Bulc argued that consolidated, European-wide regulations would allow European countries to manage airspace less expensively and to become world leaders in the aviation industry, particularly for the newly developing drone market.
Ms. Bulc said that anticipated drone regulations will create “a European-based regulatory framework” which will “create the conditions” for European drone manufacturers to become world leaders. EASA, the EU flight safety agency in Germany will work on developing the new legislation. The transport commissioner promised that proposed laws will “strike a balance between safety, security, legal certainty, privacy and data protection requirements.”
“It will really enable the drone indsutry in Europe to take off,” she said.
Details of the drone regulations, which are part of a larger “aviation package” designed to create common regulations throughout the aviation industry in order to cut costs of airspace management, are not available. However, the EU Observer reports that documents published Monday state that individual member states will be able to draft their own rules on where and when drones can fly, but that the European Commission will create common standards on design, production, and certification of drones.
While the US and Israel currently dominate world markets of military drones, European firms are growing, and lawmakers hope that a consistent regulatory framework will encourage development. The 2014 TNI report “Eurodrones” concluded that the European Commission should shift its focus from military drones to expanding the commercial market, recommending “a policy designed by the drone industry, for the drone industry.”
“Over 50 percent of the world’s drone activity, its new systems, is happening in Europe,” Andrew Charlton, of the Small UAV Coalition, said.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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