The European Commission proposed new guidelines last week designed to harmonize rules and regulations that dictate the operation of unmanned aerial systems, which the EC designates as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Potential European operators are eager to put unmanned vehicles into service as soon as possible. The proposed new European guidelines will look at safety, security, privacy, data protection and insurance liability issues.
EC vice president Siim Kallas, commissioner for mobility and transport, said, “If ever there was a right time to do this, and to do this at a European level, it is now.”
Much like the guidelines the FAA has in mind, the standards that the European Aviation Safety Agency is expected to create will demand a level of safety equivalent to that of manned aviation operations. Data collection and privacy, under the watchful eyes of the EC, must comply with the applicable data protection rules and must monitor the collection and processing of personal data. Because drone flights within Europe will quickly cross national borders, the EASA will develop necessary protections for information streams, as well as specific legal obligations for all players that will be enforced by national authorities.