DMAE response to Warsaw Declaration
Manufacturers seek balanced drone regulatory framework in “Warsaw Declaration”
Further to the Riga Declaration in March 2015 and in the midst of intense policy and regulatory debates in Europe, European drone stakeholders (the European Aviation Safety Agency – EASA), European institutions, national aviation authorities, data protection authorities and leaders of manufacturing industry and service providers) will gather in Warsaw on November 23rd-24th 2016 to take stock, discuss and reassess Europe’s approach to drones and how best to utilise this transformational technology.
To achieve our mutual goals at European level, the Drone Manufacturers Alliance Europe (DMAE) strongly advocates for open dialogue and cooperation. We believe that to move forward, the Warsaw Declaration should embrace the following principles and objectives:
- Building balanced framework that spurs innovation and growth
For Europe to truly harness the benefits of civil drones – from manufacturing to recreational use to services – we must have a balanced regulatory framework. It must be proportionate, risk- and performance-based. The reviewed EASA Basic Regulation proposed by the European Commission goes in the right direction, creating the fundamentals: key objectives and principles are defined at EU level, whilst giving the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) the mandate to set the details.
- Establishing clear and enforceable rules via EU harmonisation
Safety is a key priority. However, the EU must establish clear and enforceable rules that all operators can follow to achieve this goal. This requires rules that can cross Member States’ borders, rather than creating 28 different regulatory frameworks. The latter would obviously undermine harmonisation efforts, and most importantly, safety amongst operators. Conversely, EU harmonisation would allow manufacturers to implement safety features and share the same information with all users and operators.
- Setting up an EU-wide registration system to create a culture of compliance
Europe-wide registration is a necessary first step in maintaining safety. Civil drones are increasingly portable. It would be inconsistent to ask operators to re-register their drones when they travel from one EU country to another. A mandatory registration platform for drone operators will increase compliance and accountability. It should serve as an information point that will outline the “dos and don’ts” of drone flights in the EU as well as provide operators with real-time updates on possible changes. The user-friendly platform should register drone operators and assign a unique number to the person, not the drone.
- Positioning Europe ahead on the UTM discussions
In the not-so distant future, drones could be integrated into Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems across Europe. Whether we focus on cities, or decide to establish a specific system for drones, the governance structures and R&D programmes must be in place to move forward. In order to move in this direction, industry and policy-makers alike need to work on an impact assessment, determining the scope, costs and benefits of a UTM system. The Drone Manufacturers Alliance Europe stands ready to actively participate in the policy discussions on UTM.