Civil Europe

Lloyd’s Market Association calls for industry standard on drones


  • By Francesca Nyman

The Lloyd’s Market Association has provided input for a European Commission study on the liability and insurance requirements generated by Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems.

The study aims to consider the current and future risks associated with remote aircrafts, more commonly known as drones, so that appropriate regulation can be implemented.

Preliminary findings from the study are due to be issued in March.

RPAS are an emerging technology, the full commercial potential and possibilities of which are only now beginning to be explored. These aircrafts’ ability to cover large areas and difficult terrains makes them ideal for tasks such as inspecting remote oil and gas pipelines and checking overhead power lines.

The LMA has suggested that it is important to have an industry-wide definition of what constitutes an RPAS and ensure that the definition excludes the leisure market. Due to the significant hazard, loss and third party risk potential posed by an RPAS, it also suggested that proper licensing for operators and pilots would be appropriate, as well as introducing a system to identify the RPAS with its operator so that, should an incident occur, it will be possible to trace the origin of the drone.

Another recommendation is that each RPAS is fitted with a unique identifier/transponder unit in order to make it visible to air traffic control systems and identifiable. There may also be the need for a scheme for events where an RPAS operator is uninsured.

Neil Smith, the LMA’s head of underwriting, commented: “Many of the existing liability regimes are based on aircraft weight, or passengers. This would be wholly incompatible with RPAS due to their much smaller size. The size of these craft also means that new legislation could have a negative impact on the leisure radio-controlled model aircraft sector.”

Similar Posts