On 1 December 2016 the Council agreed on a general approach on revised common safety rules for civil aviation and a new mandate for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The draft regulation contains the first ever EU-wide rules for civil drones to fly safely in European airspace.
This ‘EASA basic regulation’ will allow the EU aviation sector to continue to develop safely in the future. It sets conditions under which the aviation industry can thrive and remain competitive and innovative in the global market. A reform of the rules is necessary to embrace the expected EU air traffic increase by 50% in the next 20 years and make aviation ready to face the tough global competition.
“Civil aviation reform is an important development for a competitive, innovative and future-resilient aviation industry. I welcome that the rules are proportionate to risks and that we allow aviation to embrace innovation and future developments, such as drones. And we allow for pooling and sharing of resources between member states, crucial for spreading expertise.”
Arpád Érsek, Slovak Minister for Transport, Construction and Regional Development and Chair of the Council
Encouraging innovation with more proportionate safety regulation
The reform introduces proportionate and risk-based rules to reduce red tape and encourage innovation, recognising that the risks involved in the various sectors of civil aviation are different. Aircraft presenting lower risks such as helicopters or light sport aircraft will be subject to simpler and cheaper approval procedures than commercial aviation.
Rules on drones to ensure safety, security and privacy
EU-wide rules on drones will provide the basic principles for ensuring safety, security and privacy. The text brings legal certainty for this rapidly expanding industry that includes a large number of small and medium-size enterprises and start-ups.