Integrating UAV in airspace: challenges and efforts

Jan 2015 | No Comment
In this article, we piece together the main issues involved in formulating a policy for RPAS

Shubhra Kingdang

There is a reason for the fuss about formulating a policy for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)/ Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or as they are called today, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). In this article, we piece together the main issues involved in formulating a policy for RPAS by sifting through the material available on various civil aviation authority websites1. We also present a compilation of how some countries have addressed/ are addressing the use of RPAS in their airspace jurisdiction.

The Evolution of RPASs

The Convention on International Civil Aviation2 (also known as the Chicago Convention) was signed on December 7, 1944. The Global Air Traffic Management Operational Concept3 states that, ‘An unmanned aerial vehicle is a pilotless aircraft, in the sense of Article 8 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which is flown without a pilot-in-command on-board and is either remotely and fully controlled from another place (ground, another aircraft, space) or programmed and fully autonomous.’ This understanding of UAVs was endorsed by the 35th Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly in Montreal in 2004.

The ICAO Circular 3284 of 2011 says in Chapter 2, Section 5 (2.5): […] ‘Whether the aircraft is manned or unmanned does not affect its status as an aircraft. Each category of aircraft will potentially have unmanned versions in the future. This point is central to all further issues pertaining to UA and provides the basis for addressing airworthiness, personnel licensing, separation standards, etc.’ […]

[…] 2.7: ‘Another fundamental of the assessment undertaken by ICAO is that a UA will not, for the foreseeable future, have passengers on board for remuneration.’ […]

[…] 2.12: ‘To date, most flights conducted by UAS have taken place in segregated airspace to obviate danger to other aircraft. Current UA are unable to integrate safely and seamlessly with other airspace users, the reasons for which are twofold – the inability to comply with critical rules of the air, and the lack of Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) specific to UA and their supporting systems.’ […]

[…] 3.2: ‘To better reflect the status of these aircraft as being piloted, the term ‘Remotely-Piloted Aircraft’ (RPA) is being introduced into the lexicon. An RPA is an aircraft piloted by a licensed ‘remote pilot’ situated at a ‘remote pilot station’ located external to the aircraft (i.e. ground, ship, another aircraft, space) who monitors the aircraft at all times and can respond to instructions issued by Air Traffic Control (ATC), communicates via voice or data link as appropriate to the airspace or operation, and has direct responsibility for the safe conduct of the aircraft throughout its flight. An RPA may possess various types of auto-pilot technology but at any time the remote pilot can intervene in the management of the flight. This equates to the ability of the pilot of a manned aircraft being flown by its auto flight system to take prompt control of the aircraft.’ […]

[…] 3.8: ‘The RPAS comprises a set of configurable elements including an RPA, its associated remote pilot station(s), the required command and control (C2) links and any other system elements as may be required, at any point during flight operation.’ And finally according to the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS)5 – ‘RPAS are a new type of aircraft which have to interact with the current airspace users. […]

It is expected that RPAS are compatible with the way ‘manned aviation’ operations are carried out, while interacting with Air Traffic Services (ATS) and with other aircraft, and maintain the current and foreseen safety levels in aviation.’

The Crux of the Matter

If RPAS are to use the same airspace as other aircraft, a space that is governed by the ATS then it automatically follows that they would also have to adhere to guidelines and governing principles similar to those followed by other aircraft. Therefore the challenge is to formulate guidelines for RPAS within the framework that guides other aircraft. In the ICAO presentation, WRC- 15 Agenda Item 1.5, Fixed Satellite Service spectrum to support the safe operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems6, the essential requirements for integration of RPAS into civil airspace have been clearly listed as:

• Certification: RPA, operator, remote pilot

• Approval: RPAS as a complete system

• Collision and hazard avoidance

• Interact with ATC and other aircraft

• Security: data links, RPA, remote pilot station

• Predictable actions (not autonomous!)

• Contingency procedures

The Stop-gap Arrangement – Certification

ICAO Circular 328, 6.1 states: ‘RPA are integrating into a well-established certification system and are subject to demonstrating compliance in a manner similar to that of manned aircraft. The fact that these aircraft cannot operate without supporting system elements (RPS, C2 data links, etc.) brings new complexities to the subject of certification.’ […]

[…] 6.5: ‘The first option envisaged is that the certification of the RPAS is documented with the Type Certificate issued to the RPA. The configuration of the RPAS as a whole would be included in the Type Certificate of the RPA, under the responsibility of one unique Type Certificate holder. […] The configuration of RPA and RPS would be certified in conjunction with the RPA by the State of Design of the aircraft and documented in the Type Certificate data sheet. […] The State of Registry would have responsibility for determining continuing airworthiness of the RPAS in relation to the appropriate airworthiness requirements.’ […]

6.6: ‘The second option envisaged would require not only new SARPs, but also new certificates comparable to the existing Type Certificate and Certificate of Airworthiness (COA) to be developed.’ […]

The Long Term Plan

It is mentioned in ICAO’s Capacity and Efficiency Standardization Flyer on RPAS7 that, ‘[…] one of the operational needs noted in ICAO’s Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) strategy is the introduction of RPAS. A key component of successful RPAS integration will be ensuring that their potential economic and social benefits are not realized at the expense of general system safety or efficiency.’ […]

[…] ‘ICAO is well into the exhaustive process of reviewing every Annex to the Chicago Convention in order to discern how the introduction of RPAS into the regulatory framework is going to impact existing Standards. The 2013-2028 Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP)8 recognizes RPA as a legitimate user of the airspace and the performance capability Modules required for safe, successful RPAS integration have been defined under the ASBU framework.’

ICAO 2013-2028 GANP, Performance Improvement Area 4:

All three apply to all RPA operating in non-segregated airspace and at aerodromes and require good synchronization of airborne and ground deployment to generate significant benefits, in particular to those who are able to meet minimum certification and equipment requirements.

Block 1-RPAS: Initial Integration of RPA Systems into non-segregated airspace

• Implementation of basic procedures for operating RPA in non-segregated airspace including detect and avoid.

• Limited access to airspace by a new category of users.

• Increased situational awareness; controlled use of aircraft. […]

Block 2-RPAS: RPA Integration in Traffic

• Continuing to improve the RPA access to non-segregated airspace; continuing to improve the RPAS approval/ certification process; continuing to define and refine the RPAS operational procedures; continuing to refine communication performance requirements; standardizing the C2 link failure procedures and agreeing on a unique squawk code for C2 link failure; and working on detect and avoid technologies, to include Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) and algorithm development to integrate RPA into the airspace. […]

Block 3-RPAS: RPA Transparent Management

• Continuing to improve the certification process for RPA in all classes of airspace, working on developing a reliable C2 link, developing and certifying Airborne Detect and Avoid (ABDAA) algorithms for collision avoidance, and integration of RPA into aerodrome procedures. […]

ICAO continues to cooperate and consult with States and industry stakeholders on the adoption of RPAS operations into pertinent regulatory frameworks.

ICAO Standardized Acronyms

• Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) – an unmanned aircraft which is piloted from a remote pilot station.

• Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) – a remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components as specified in the type design.

• Remote Pilot Station (RPS) – the component of the RPAS containing the equipment used to pilot the RPA.

• Remote pilot – a person charged by the operator with duties essential to the operations of an RPA and who manipulates the flight controls, as appropriate during flight time.

Other Terminology

• Command and Control Link (C2) – the data link between the RPA and the RPS for the purposes of managing the flight.

• Command, Control and ATC Communications (C3) – the C2 plus ATC communications.

• Detect and Avoid (D&A) – the capability to see, sense or detect conflicting traffic or other hazards and take the appropriate action. (WRC-15 Agenda Item 1.5, Fixed Satellite Service spectrum to support the safe operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems)


Implementing the Framework

Despite the detailed framework given by ICAO, actually formulating the policies and guidelines for the use of RPAS has been a challenge that only few countries seem to be overcoming – most are still struggling with it. Here is a snapshot of the conditions under which RPAS are allowed to operate in some of the countries.

United States of America

As required by Section 332(a) [Integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace system, (a) required planning for integration], of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (FMRA) of 2019, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Comprehensive Plan10 was put together by representatives from the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) partner agencies – the Departments of Transportation (DOT), Defense (DoD), Commerce (DOC), and Homeland Security (DHS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – as well as industry representatives, provided through the FAA’s UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) in September 2013. The Plan sets the overarching, interagency goals, objectives, and approach to integrating UAS into the NAS.

This was followed by FAA’s Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap11 in November 2013. The purpose of the roadmap is to outline, within a broad timeline, the tasks and considerations needed to enable UAS integration into the NAS for the planning purposes of the broader UAS community.

As per the UAS Roadmap, ‘Integration of UAS into the NAS will require: review of current policies, regulations, environmental impact, privacy considerations, standards, and procedures; identification of gaps in current UAS technologies and regulations, standards, policies, or procedures; development of new technologies and new or revised regulations, standards, policies, and procedures; and the associated development of guidance material, training, and certification of aircraft systems, propulsion systems, and airmen.’

The FAA first authorized use of unmanned aircraft in the NAS in 1990 and identifies three types of unmanned aircraft system operations: civil, public and model aircraft.

Civil Operations (Non-Governmental)

For civil operation, applicants may obtain a Special Airworthiness Certificate, Experimental Category (operations for research and development, flight and sales demonstrations and crew training) by demonstrating that their unmanned aircraft system can operate safely within an assigned flight test area and cause no harm to the public.

Public Operations (Governmental)

For public operation, the FAA issues a COA that permits public agencies and organizations to operate a particular UA, for a particular purpose, in a particular area. COAs are usually issued for a specific period – up to two years in many cases and most require coordination with an appropriate air traffic control facility. There were 545 COAs active as of December 4, 2013.

Model Aircraft

Recreational use of airspace by model aircraft is covered by FAA Advisory Circular 91-57, which generally limits operations for hobby and recreation to below 400 feet, away from airports and air traffic, and within sight of the operator.

FMRA Section 333 – Giving Wings to Civil Operations

Recognizing the demand to expedite integration of UAS into the NAS, the FAA has leveraged the authority granted under Section 333 of the FMRA – Special Rules for Certain Unmanned Aircraft Systems12, to establish an interim policy that bridges the gap between the current state and NAS operations.

Section 333, provides flexibility for authorizing safe civil operations in the NAS by granting the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether airworthiness certification is required for a UAS to operate in the NAS.

Drone ‘near miss’ with passenger plane close to Heathrow airport investigated

A near-miss report investigating how a drone was able to come within feet of a passenger jet as it prepared to land at Heathrow Airport, has concluded there had been “a serious risk of collision.”

As the model helicopter was so small, it did not appear on the aircraft’s radar, the pilot said. Luckily, the object did not strike the plane and the pilot was able to make a normal landing.

However, the report warned that the object had distracted the pilot during a critical phase of the flight.

Earlier this year the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) Drone ‘near miss’ with passenger plane close to Heathrow airport investigated demanded better protection for the public from the risks of drones. It wants drones, officially known as RPAS, which share airspace with passenger and freight airliners, to meet the same safety standards as piloted aircraft. It includes being flown only by operators with pilot-equivalent training. In October, Birmingham University warned the use of drones in the UK would rise over the next 20 years, which in turn raised “significant safety, security, and privacy concerns”.

www.theguardian.com and www.independent.co.uk


In his paper – UAS Regulatory Developments16, James Coyne of Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says, […] ‘CASA commenced the development of regulations pertaining to the operational use of UAS in 2000, which resulted in the publication of Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 101, Unmanned Aircraft and Rocket Operations in 200217. These regulations provide the framework under which all classes of UAS can be operated in Australian airspace. The regulations are supported by Advisory Circular (AC) 101-1 – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations, Design Specification, Maintenance and Training of Human Resources18.’ […]

CASR Subpart 101.F – UAVs

Division 101.F.1- General Subpart 101.F – UAVs

101.235 – (1) This Subpart applies to: (a) the operation of a large UAV; and (b) the operation of a small UAV for purposes other than sport or recreation.

101.240 Definitions in this Subpart:

Approved area means an area approved under regulation 101.030 as an area for the operation of UAVs

Certified UAV controller means a person certified under Division 101.F.3 as a controller of UAVs

Controller of a UAV means a person who performs a function that would be, if the UAV were a manned aircraft, a function of its flight crew

Large UAV means any of the following:

(a) an unmanned airship with an envelope capacity greater than 100 cubic meters

(b) an unmanned powered parachute with a launch mass greater than 150 kilograms

(c) an unmanned aeroplane with a launch mass greater than 150 kilograms

(d) an unmanned rotorcraft with a launch mass greater than 100 kilograms

(e) an unmanned powered lift device with a launch mass greater than 100 kilograms

Micro UAV means a UAV with a gross weight of 100 grams or less

Small UAV means a UAV that is neither a large UAV nor a micro UAV

UAV means unmanned aircraft, other than a balloon or a kite

Division 101.F.2 – Operation of UAVs generally

101.245 Operation near people – (1) Subject to subregulations (2) and (3), a person must not operate a UAV within 30 meters of a person who is not directly associated with the operation of the UAV. […]

101.250 Where small UAVs may be operated – (1) A person may operate a small UAV outside an approved area only if: (a) where the UAV is operated above 400 feet AGL, the operator has CASA’s approval to do so; and (b) the UAV stays clear of populous areas. […]

101.255 Large UAVs – requirement for certificate – (1) A person may operate a large UAV only if either a special certificate of airworthiness (restricted category), or an experimental certificate, has been issued for it under Subpart 21.H of Part 21. […]

101.270 Requirement for UAV operator’s certificate – (1) A person may operate a UAV for hire or reward only if the person holds a UAV operator’s certificate that authorizes the person to operate the UAV. […]

101.275 Approval of operation of large UAVs – (1) A person may operate a large UAV only with CASA’s approval. […]

101.280 UAVs not to be operated over populous areas – […]

(2) A person must not operate a UAV that is not a certificated UAV (a UAV for which a certificate of airworthiness has been issued) over a populous area at a height less than the height from which, if any of its components fails, it would be able to clear the area. […]

Division 101.F.3 – Certification of UAV controllers Division 101.F.4 – Certification of UAV operators In his presentation, Development of UAS in civil airspace and challenges for CASA19, in February 2013 the Director of Aviation Safety, John McCormick said, ‘[…]

approximately 90 percent of the RPAs operating in Australia today are less than 7 Kgs […] due to increasing number and their varied capabilities, it is impossible for CASA to effectively regulate all of them. We have to address the current reality. There is no point in CASA writing regulations that can’t be enforced. That’s just bad law. […]’

‘[…] The current CASR Part 101 deals with unmanned aircraft, model aircraft and rockets. As a result of rapid growth and technological advancements in this industry, this regulation has become somewhat ineffective and needs amendment. […] The principal objective of a fresh aviation regulatory framework is to achieve and maintain the highest possible uniform level of safety. […] Identifying the commonalities and differences between manned and unmanned aircraft is the first step toward developing a regulatory framework that will provide, at a minimum, an equivalent level of safety for the integration of RPA into non-segregated airspace and at aerodromes […].’

Transport Canada simplifies rules for UAS

Transport Canada announced at the Unmanned Systems Canada conference in Montréal, two exemptions that simplify small UAV operations and safely integrate UAVs into Canadian airspace. Under the new exemptions, a Special Flight Operations Certificate will not be required for UAVs under 2 kilograms and certain operations involving UAVs under 25 kilograms. The new approach will apply to commercial operations and contribute to a strong safety regime for those on the ground and in the skies.

In October, Canada’s national safety awareness campaign for UAVs, which aims to help Canadians better understand the risks and responsibilities of flying UAVs was launched.



In Canada, unmanned aircraft are considered as aircraft under the Aeronautics Act20 and are governed by the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)21, which require anyone conducting UAS operations to obtain and comply with the provisions of a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC)22. In 2010, the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC)23 established the Unmanned Aircraft System Program Design Working Group. The purpose of the group is to make recommendations for amendments to current aviation regulations as well as introduce new regulations and standards for the safe integration of routine UAS operations in Canadian airspace in four phases. The group presented its Phase 1 Final Report24 in March 2012. Flying an Unmanned Aircraft in Canada More and more people in Canada are using unmanned aircraft for work or pleasure and Transport Canada regulates their use to keep the public and airspace safe.

Do’s and Don’ts of Flying an Unmanned Aircraft25


• Only fly your UAV during daylight and in good weather

• Always be able to see your UAV with your own eyes

• Make sure your UAV is safe for flight before take-off

• Know if you need permission to fly

• Respect the privacy of others

Don’t fly:

• Closer than 9 km from any airport, heliport, or aerodrome

• Higher than 90 meters from above the ground

• Closer than 150 meters from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles

• In populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows

• Near moving vehicles, avoid highways, bridges, busy streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers

• Within restricted airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires

• Anywhere you may interfere with first responders Permission and Safety Requirements26 To fly your unmanned aircraft legally, you may need to follow strict safety conditions outlined in an exemption or apply for permission from Transport Canada. It depends on the type of aircraft, its weight, as well as how and where you plan to use it.

If your aircraft:

• Weighs 35 kg or more, you need to apply for a SFOC before you can use it.

• Weighs less than 35 kg and is used for recreational purposes, you don’t need permission to fly. Unmanned aircraft that weigh less than 25 kg may qualify for an exemption to the rules, which will allow you to fly without permission.

If your aircraft:

• Weighs 2 kg or less and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption for UAVs that weigh less than 2 kg or less, you don’t need to request permission to fly.

• Weighs between 2.1 kg and 25 kg and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption for UAVs that weigh between 2.1 kg and 25 kg; you don’t need to request permission to fly. However, you must notify Transport Canada by completing the submission form.

If you cannot or choose not to meet the safety conditions in the UAV exemptions, you must apply for a SFOC.

FAA UAS Test Sites

After a rigorous 10-month selection process, on December 30, 2013, the FAA selected six unmanned aircraft systems test sites in accordance with FMRA 201213 across the country. The research and relevant data from the sites will feed into the requirements being developed to support UAS integration including providing information to support development of certification procedures, airworthiness standards, operational requirements, maintenance procedures, and safety oversight activities for UAS civil applications and operations.

FAA lets 4 companies fly commercial drones Four companies won approval from FAA to fly commercial drones to conduct aerial surveys, monitor construction sites and inspect oil flare stacks – Trimble Navigation Limited (TRMB), VDOS Global, Clayco Inc. and Woolpert Inc. www.usatoday.com

Six companies can fly small UAS US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that FAA has granted regulatory exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies – the first step to allowing the film and television industry the use of UAS in the NAS. FAA is considering 40 requests for exemptions from other commercial entities. www.faa.gov

Center of Excellence

The Congress directed the FAA to establish a UAS Center of Excellence (COE) 14 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. The COE will be jointly managed by the FAA’s NextGen and UAS Integration offices and will be a geographically disbursed consortium of the FAA, university partners and their affiliates selected by the FAA Administrator to conduct UAS related research, education and training while working jointly on issues of mutual interest and concern.

However, despite these efforts; the Audit Report number AV-2014-061 of the Office of Inspector General, issued on June 26, 2014 says it all in its title – FAA Faces Significant Barriers to Safely Integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System.15

United Kingdom

Depending on the design and mass of an unmanned aircraft and the activity for which it will be used, it may be necessary to apply for permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before commencing any flight.

Permission for a UAS

You must request permission from the CAA if you plan to fly the aircraft on a commercial basis or fly a camera/ surveillance fitted aircraft within congested areas or closer to people or properties that are not under your control

Permission is not required if the aircraft will not be flown close to people or properties, and you will not get ‘valuable consideration’ (i.e. payment) from the flight.

Permission is also not required for ‘practice’ or demonstration flights.

CAP 722, Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance

Overall, the purpose of CAP 72227 is to highlight the safety requirements that have to be met, in terms of airworthiness and operational standards, before a UAS is allowed to operate in the UK. It is a joint civil/military document, intended to draw together independent civil and military guidance so as to establish best practice for all UAS activities.

CAP 393, Air Navigation: The Order and the Regulations The CAP 39328 amendment principally contains changes to the Air Navigation Order (ANO) arising from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Aircrew Regulation. In it, Article 166 includes specific regulations for small unmanned aircraft and Article 167 includes additional regulations for small unmanned aircraft that are ‘equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition’.

Unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of 20 kg or less are defined as ‘Small Unmanned Aircraft’ and according to Article 253 are exempt from the majority of the regulations that are normally applicable to manned aircraft.

Unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of more than 20 kg are subject to regulation as though they are manned aircraft.


Public Notice dated October 7, 2014 – Use of UAV/ UAS for Civil Applications29

[…] UAS has potential for large number of civil applications. However, its use besides being a safety issue, also poses security threat. The airspace over cities in India has high density of manned aircraft traffic. Due to lack of regulation, operating procedures/ standards and uncertainty of the technology, UAS poses threat for air collisions and accidents.

The civil operation of UAS will require approval from the Air Navigation Service provider, defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, and other concerned security agencies, besides the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

DGCA is in the process of formulating the regulations (and globally harmonize those) for certification & operation for use of UAS in the Indian Civil Airspace. Till such regulations are issued, no non government agency, organization, or an individual will launch a UAS in Indian Civil Airspace for any purpose whatsoever.

The above is for strict compliance.

Some Other Countries

Excerpts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) article, Perspectives on Unmanned Aircraft Classification for Civil Airworthiness Standards.30

‘In the pursuit of enabling UAS to routinely access the NAS, much attention is being devoted worldwide to challenges of developing certification processes, regulation, and standards for UAS, including those related to airworthiness. Many organizations have developed or are currently debating classification approaches for UAS airworthiness standards. Most notably, though, there is an absence of consensus on what those airworthiness standards should be and how they might apply across the diverse spectrum of UAS types.

This paper is not intended to propose answers to those questions, but instead to facilitate ongoing deliberations by providing insight into some of the relevant factors underlying classification of Conventionally Piloted Aircraft (CPA), and observations based on current approaches about the applicability of the current aircraft classification system and corresponding airworthiness standards to UAS.’

B.6. Israel

The Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) is the regulator for the civil aviation sector, as part of Israel’s Ministry of Transportation. […] The CAAI defines three – top level categories that should constitute the driving factor in defining the extent and level of requirements to be applied when granting approval to conduct UAV operations: Category I: UAV operations that do not belong to either of the other two categories, i.e., conducted within confined airspace portions and above confined area (usually unpopulated). Category II: UAV operations may be allowed with some operational restrictions with two practical subdivisions – Category IIa: Airspace restrictions but no specific restrictions in term of overflown areas and Category IIb: Airspace restrictions and flight above sparsely populated areas only. Category III: UAV operations may be allowed with no specific operational restrictions (i.e., in non-segregated airspace and over populated areas).

B.7. France

[…] In April 2012, the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) issued regulations concerning the design, use, and operators of UAS in France, which include a UAS classification approach that is related to airworthiness. In the regulations, UAS are primarily separated between model aircraft and RPA, and they are then further subdivided by weight, operation, and in the case of model aircraft, by propulsion system. The DGAC defines model aircraft to include the requirement that it remain permanently within direct visual range of the remote pilot. […] France is also a member of EASA and aircraft greater than 150 kg fall under the purview of EASA.

B.8. Japan

Use of UAS for civil applications is governed by two different organizations in Japan: the Japan Agricultural Aviation Association (JAAA) and the Japan UAV Association (JUAV). The JAAA, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, addresses the safe construction and operation of UAS for agricultural applications, since the bulk of UAS operations in Japan are for agricultural purposes, which entail flying over uninhabited fields with line-of-site operations. The JUAV Association is a private industry consortium of sixteen companies and was set up to expand Japan’s UAS industry and to develop standards for the safe use of UAS in non-agricultural applications. The Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau, which is a part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, does not address UAS issues.

B.10. Malaysia

The Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) titled, ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations in Malaysian Airspace’, to provide guidance to civil-use UAS operators in the form of Civil Aviation Regulations. In particular, this AIC version states that civil-use UAS above 20 kg shall be required to have a certificate of airworthiness.

B.16. Switzerland

Switzerland integrated its civil and military airspace in 2001. The Swiss regulatory efforts on UAS appear to largely involve a few key organizations, both private and public. The most prominent organizations include the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Skyguide, and Aerosuisse. Currently, the Swiss regulations address UAS operational certification on a weight basis, with a 30 kg breakpoint. In particular, UAS above 30 kg must seek specific approval for operation in the Swiss national airspace, and UAS below 30 kg do not require authorization to operate.

International Effort

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group (UASSG)31 was established by the Air Navigation Commission (ANC) in November 2007 with the following terms of reference – ‘In light of rapid technological advances, to assist the Secretariat in coordinating a framework for regulatory development as well as in guiding the SARPs development process within ICAO, for civil UAS, and to support a safe, secure and efficient integration of UAS into nonsegregated airspace and aerodromes.’

It’s members are: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UK, US, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), EASA, European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), EUROCONTROL, International Council of Aircra Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), UVS International.


1 Note: Some material has been taken verbatim.

2 http://www.icao.int/publications/ Documents/7300_orig.pdf

3 http://www.icao.int/Meetings/anconf12/ Document%20Archive/9854_ cons_en%5B1%5D.pdf

4 http://www.icao.int/Meetings/UAS/ Documents/Circular%20328_en.pdf

5 http://jarus-rpas.org/phocadownloadpap/6_ Official-Publications/JARUS-C2- link-RCP-concept-Ed-1-00.pdf

6 http://www.icao.int/APAC/ Meetings/2014%20RPGWRC15/ SP03_NLD-G.%20Osinga_ FSS%20allocations%20for%20 unnamed%20aircraft.pdf

7 http://www.icao.int/NACC/Documents/ eDOCS/FS/FS-ATM-Flyer_USLetter_ ANB-RPAS_2013-08-26.pdf

8 www.icao.int/sustainability/ pages/GANP.aspx

9 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT- 112hrpt381/pdf/CRPT-112hrpt381.pdf

10 http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/ headquarters_offices/agi/reports/ media/uas_comprehensive_plan.pdf

11 http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/ uas_roadmap_2013.pdf

12 http://www.faa.gov/uas/ legislative_programs/section_333/ how_to_file_a_petition/media/ section333_public_guidance.pdf

13 http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Order_ Selecting_Six_UAS_Test_Sites.pdf

14 http://www.faa.gov/about/office_ org/headquarters_offices/ang/ offices/management/coe/media/ pdf/CoE_UAS_safety.pdf

15 https://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/ default/files/FAA%20Oversight%20 of%20Unmanned%20Aircraft%20 Systems%5E6-26-14.pdf

16 http://www.icao.int/Meetings/ UAS/Documents/Coyne-James_ CASA_Australia_WP.pdf

17 http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ Details/F2014C01095/Html/ Volume_3#_Toc399250893

18 http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/ main/rules/1998casr/101/101c01.pdf

19 http://www.casa.gov.au/Scripts/nc.dll?W CMS:STANDARD::pc=PC_101374

20 http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/actsregulations/ acts-1985ca-2.htm

21 http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/ regulations-sor96-433.htm

22 https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/ civilaviation/regserv/cars/part6- standards-623d2-2450.htm

23 https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/ regserv/affairs-carac-menu-755.htm

24 http://www.h-a-c.ca/UAV_REPORT.pdf

25 http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/ ca-standards/Infographic_UAV_ safety_tips_English.pdf

26 http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/ ca-standards/Infographic_Permission_ to_fly_a_UAV_Print_English.pdf

27 http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722.pdf 28 http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/ CAP%20393%20June%202014.pdf

29 http://dgca.nic.in/public_notice/PN_UAS.pdf

30 http://shemesh.larc.nasa.gov/people/ jmm/NASA-TM-2013-217969.pdf

31 http://www.icao.int/ESAF/Documents/ APIRG/APIRG16/Docs/apirg16ip15_en.pdf

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