APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
Civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS)
in the EU
The Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment
Sub-Committee of the House of Lords European Union Committee,
chaired by Baroness O'Cathain, is conducting an inquiry into
the civil use in the EU of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS),
commonly referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or 'drones'.
Public hearings will be held in October and November 2014.
RPAS vary greatly in size, flying capability and
methods of control. They are increasingly being used in Europe,
in countries such as Sweden, France and the UK, to check for damage
to road and rail bridges, monitor natural disasters such as flooding
and to spray crops with pinpoint accuracy. Basic national safety
rules apply to their use, but these rules differ across the EU
and a number of key safeguards are not addressed in a coherent
The European Commission has been discussing since
2012 how to regulate the operations of RPAS in the EU. It published
a Communication on 8 April 2014 setting out its ideas on how European
industry can become a global leader in the market for this emerging
the same time, it acknowledged that the integration of RPAS into
the EU's airspace must be accompanied by adequate public debate
on societal concerns, including:
is an 'equivalent' level of safety to manned aircraft, and how
can RPAS be protected against security threats?
will data protection rules apply to RPAS and their usage?
the current framework for liability and insurance for manned aircraft
need to be amended to take into account the specificities of RPAS?
The Committee will accordingly consider whether the
Commission has identified the key issues in this debate, and how
the EU's actions can benefit the RPAS industry in Europe in a
way that is acceptable to all stakeholders.
Respondents need only reply to those questions which
they consider relevant to them, and are welcome to address matters
which are relevant to the inquiry but are not covered by these
1. Do you agree with the priorities identified
in the European Commission's Communication for opening the aviation
market to the civil use of RPAS? Are there other priorities which
should have been included?
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages
of regulating RPAS at the national, EU or international levels,
for example in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)?
Are the EU's actions, proposed or otherwise, consistent with developments
in non-EU countries, for example in the United States?
3. In which new or innovative ways do you think
RPAS will be used in the future?
4. What is your view of the estimate by the AeroSpace
and Defence Industries Association of Europe that RPAS activities
will create about 150,000 jobs in the EU by 2050? What are the
factors that might restrict the growth of the RPAS market?
5. Will the existing competences of Member States
for the safety of military and civil aircraft, as well as for
more general issues such as the allocation and use of radio spectrum,
be impacted by the proposed changes in the remit of the European
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)?
6. Are the existing data protection, liability
and insurance regimes at EU and Member State levels sufficient
to address the concerns raised by the potential greater use of
RPAS, or are changes required?
7. Is EU research and development funding for
RPAS sufficiently targeted towards the most important issues,
for example, getting the airspace regulatory framework right,
as against improving the limited airworthiness of today's small
and lightweight RPAS?
339 COM(2014) 207 'A new era for aviation: Opening
the aviation market to the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft
systems in a safe and sustainable manner'. Back