Amsterdam Drone Week: Delaying U-space regulation implementation could harm viability of the project

The European Commission’s U-space draft regulation is currently under discussion and should be finalised in the first half of next year, according to Giancarlo Crivellaro, Policy Officer – European Commission, speaking at the Amsterdam Drone Week. “In terms of the effects – that will depend on the Member States. In principle we propose a one-year transition period but after that it should be the Member States to decide when to start applying the regulation,” he said.

The regulation will not put any obligation on Member States whether to define U-space airspace in their national airspace but some have already started doing so, said Giancario Crivrellaro. “Delaying the applicability date could harm the viability of this project and the companies behind it,” he said. “We are getting many signals of strong demand from U-space service providers, drone operators and customers of drone operators for a quick adoption. For all these reasons the regulation should be adopted soon rather than later so industry and stakeholders can start planning for the applicability.”

Ken Engelstad, Project manager Drones, at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said that to support the implementation of the upcoming U-space regulation EASA has set up an expert group – made up of representatives from U-space service providers, ANSPs, drone operators, authorities, standardisation bodies, drone associations and manufacturers – to support harmonised implementation of the regulation. “The group will look into the required performance levels and means to achieve them by U-space service providers and UAS operators; the recognition of available standards that have been validated or will be mature (which) will enable the interoperability for the implementation/deployment of U-space services and will look into any material coming from the SESAR projects and stemming from the results of the network of U-space demonstrators.”

The outcome will be an NPA (Notice of Proposed Amendments) which will contain a further draft of acceptable means of compliance and guidance material. It is expected to be published in Q4 next year.

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(Image: Giancarlo Crivellaro)

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