Federico Franchina – The new European Union Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft System and the Air avigation Services

DIRITTO E POLITICA DEI TRASPORTI (ISSN 2612-5056), I/2020, p. 40 – 60

Abstract. The new European Union Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft System and the Air Navigation Services. In the recent years, unmanned aircraft systems (commonly known as “drones”) have raised attention in the public opinion due to their disruptive use in many fields of life. From agriculture to industrial activities, surveillance, mapping and photographing, drones have shown their great capabilities in order to simplify a series of works that usually were done directly by humans or were not possible. Lawmakers, manufactures and stakeholders have begun to deal with opportunities and issues from modern uses of drones even in consideration of economic forecasts that within next years show a strong growth of the sector. This has led to a European approach that overcoming different domestics legislation aimed to have a common European Union legal and technical framework. On June 2019 a package of regulations relating to the operations of unmanned aircraft systems has been adopted by the European Union: Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945on unmanned aircraft and on third country operators of unmanned aircraft systems and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947on the procedures and rules for the operation of unmanned aircraft. These regulations seem to look at unmanned aircraft in a not usual way – as an aircraft
tout court – but that consider it as something different and providing specific rules on the light of the apportionment of the risks. On the other hand, the “explosion” of drones in the near future has pointed out several challenges related to air navigation services and airspace management in consideration of the integration with manned aviation. In this sense the European Commission has developed a vision for the phased introduction of procedures and services to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace, called U-Space (as “a set of services designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for large numbers of drones”). The impact of the European legislation is not yet comparable, nor it allow a wide and scientific consideration due to its very recent issuing. On the other hand, and according to the aim of this paper it could be used in order to analyse its correlation with the specific air navigation services that the European Union in its different shapes has thought for the unmanned aircraft system.