Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) workshop for civil protection experts - final report
On 21-22 January 2016, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)'s Civil Protection Policy, Prevention, Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction unit (A5) organised a workshop for experts from participating States of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) to discuss the main challenges for the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in disaster management, in particular their deployment in the context of the UCPM.
The workshop was attended by over seventy participants including delegates from civil protection authorities of 21 participating States, and specialists from European and national institutions, rescue, emergency and humanitarian organisations, technology centres, service providers, research institutes and industry.
The workshop tackled the regulatory, operational and strategic dimension of the use of RPAS for disaster management, bringing together contributions and opinions of world-renowned experts on the different challenges that the civil protection community must tackle to ensure an effective use and deployment of RPAS in support of UCPM missions.
In preparation of the workshop DG ECHO.A5 distributed questionnaires to national delegates, through which participating States were invited to report on their national situation and to express their vision on the different challenges. Under the chairmanship of DG ECHO.A5 and with the support of the experts, national delegates had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the different facets of the issues related to the use of RPAS in disaster management, and discuss proposals for the way ahead.
At the end of the workshop, DG ECHO.A5 proposed a set of actionable proposals for follow up, which are detailed in this report.