European drone research firm DRONEII has published a new infographic tracing drone regulation progress from 2016 and into the future. DRONEII co-founder and CFO Hendrik Bödecker has penned an article explaining the findings: more detailed information can be found in DRONEII’s Drone Regulation Report 2020.
The time line starts in 2016, Bödecker explains, because in June of 2016 the FAA changed the entire regulatory framework with the publication of Part 107. Part 107 allowed the commercial drone industry to get started – prior to that point, commercial operation was prohibited, and pilots had to apply for exemptions to that regulation. (DRONELIFE began in 2013 – during the bad old days of “section 333 exemptions.”)
Part 107 led to new challenges, writes Bödecker: “Everyone was now able to fly drones under Part107 so that the commercial market grew strongly through easy controllable small drones which offered the possibility to apply new use cases,” he says. “The effect was that the access to the airspace was very simple and it got very hard to manage and enforce the 107 rules. Airspace violations grew and neglect of rules increased.”
For commercial pilots, Part 107 was just the start. It allowed simple operations: but advanced ops required a waiver, which led to an administrative bottleneck as the industry grew.
Europe – through the authority of EASA – took a watch and learn approach, adjusting their final drone operation Regulation (EU) 2019/947 in June of 2019, 3 years after the FAA published Part 107. EASA regulations look significantly different than rules in the US. “Some of the key differences include how to make risk assessments and how to apply for approval,” says Bödecker. “Predefined risk categories are also included and make this framework much easier to handle in comparison with FAA.”
What’s Next for Drone Regulations?
“In the next two years operators and manufacturers face the challenge of complying with new requirements (rules and standards) to fly advanced missions. This may sound bad but is actually good news since it finally allows them to use drones to their fullest potential. Operation over people, at night, beyond visual line of sight or a combination of these three will leverage the disruptive potential of drone technology and dramatically push the market forward,” writes Bödecker.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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