It has been a while but a new acronym arrives on the scene and its horrid… U-Space, or a low-level area for unmanned aircraft.

Something like this worldwide will eventually happen. Manned aviation in all but a few exceptions, taking off and landing, crop dusting and search and rescue does not really need to be below 1000 feet.

In 2010 vision based detect sense and avoid systems could see birds lifting from two miles away. This tech will be in consumer drones before 2020. It will be interesting to see if manned flight will have to raise its standards when that happens.

Polish Minister of Infrastructure and Construction Andrzej Adamczyk hosted the Warsaw High Level Conference also attended by European Commissioner Violeta Bulc, the Executive Director of EASA Mr Patrick Ky, the acting President of the Polish CAA Mr Piotr Samson, the Executive of the SESAR Joint Undertaking Director Florian Guillermet, a number of Directors General of Civil Aviation from the EU Member States, representatives of ICAO, international associations, European bodies, Agencies, together with leaders of the industry. The conference called for a number of well-coordinated actions to develop the EU drone ecosystem and to deliver it by 2019, building on the guiding principles given in the Riga Declaration.

The conference:

– Noted the enormous potential of the drone services market with estimates ranging as high as one hundred billion euros in the coming years.

– Urged the further development of this potential to support EU competitiveness and global leadership.

– Discussed a range of possible applications, business models and technological developments, including autonomous drones, and agreed that EASA should further study the interaction between drones and manned aircraft.

– Called for the swift development of a drone ecosystem that is simple to use, affordable, commercially and operationally friendly, yet capable of addressing all societal concerns such as safety, security, privacy and environmental protection.

– Welcomed the progress being made towards a flexible framework of safety regulation at EU level based on the operation centric approach, taking into account subsidiarity.

– Noted EASA’s initiative to develop detailed drones rules on the basis of this emerging framework.

– Called for the safety rules to be kept simple, proportionate to the risk of the operation, performance-based, future-proofed, and based on global standards. Urged industry to develop open standards to support performance-based regulation.

– Urged industry to develop open standards to support performance-based regulation.

– Acknowledged the need for urgent action on the airspace dimension, in particular the development of the concept of the “U-Space” on access to low level airspace especially in urban areas.

– Invited the European authorities to outline, within six months, this concept. This outline should address issues relating to business models and governance and include the concept of operations.

– Confirmed the need for continuous investment in the integration of drones in the aviation system, in particular through the SESAR Joint Undertaking, and called for the use of the full range of funding mechanisms, including their combination.

– Called for full participation by the whole EU drone community in demonstrators to test as rapidly and as efficiently as possible the feasibility of the requirements and standards of the U-Space.

– Confirmed the need to tackle, in a timely manner, security issues, including cyber-security, and to enhance cooperation between security, defence and safety actors.

– Called for education and safety promotion campaigns to be developed to increase awareness of all actors, in particular those without an aviation background.

– Called for the creation of an effective coordination mechanism between the European Commission, the relevant Europen Agencies, including the European Defence Agency, and all stakeholders reflecting the drone services market, to monitor, advise and assist with:
 the establishment of the regulatory framework, including the timely delivery of industry standards;
 the efficacy and funding of drone integration projects; and
 the development of the U-Space.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.