Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)

EUROCONTROL is one of the main contributors to the European Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) roadmap. This roadmap presents a harmonised approach to the safe integration of RPAS technology into non-segregated airspace.

The basic principles are:

  • RPAS should be as safe as manned aviation;
  • RPAS operations should not exclude other airspace users;
  • RPAS should be transparent to ATC and to other airspace users;
  • most importantly, RPAS must adapt to ATM and to existing regulations.

In order to achieve the goals set out in the roadmap, three annexes were included to address these aspects:

  • The Regulatory Approach
  • A Strategic Research Plan
  • A Study on the Societal Impact.

EUROCONTROL is intensely involved in the ICAO RPAS Panel, which has replaced the UASSG (Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group). We have been tasked with undertaking specific studies and developing provisions to facilitate the safe, secure and efficient integration of RPAS into non-segregated airspace and aerodromes, while ensuring that the safety levels for manned aviation are maintained or even improved.

EUROCONTROL is leading two working groups:

  • ATM;
  • C2 data link.

EUROCONTROL is also a member of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) and is currently developing recommendations for:

  • RPAS Operations of Unmnned Aircraft Systems involved in manufacturing, operations, mainenance and service provision. It is based on Category A & B a per te RPAS Operational Categorization of JARUS WG 7;
  • Safety for airworthiness of RPAS (1309) and airworthiness processes;
  • Certification specifications for light Unmanned Rotorcraft Systems;
  • Guidance on RPAS C2 Link Required Communication Performance;
  • Licensing and competencies for personnel involved in the operation of RPAS (JARUS-FCL);
  • Methods to derive design objectves for Detect and Avoid systems on airspace requirements.


Latest news

The SESAR Horizon 2020 PODIUM project, which has been selected by the European Commission to proceed to the grant preparation phase, will demonstrate unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) services, procedures and technologies at four operational sites in Denmark, France and the Netherlands throughout 2018 and 2019. The PODIUM project, performed by a consortium led by EUROCONTROL, supports U-space, the European Commission’s vision for the safe, secure and efficient handling of drone traffic and a key enabler for the growing drone market to generate economic and societal benefits.

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