Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2019

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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72  June/July 2019 unmanned systems inside BOTH THE UAS OPERATOR AND THE INDIVIDUAL REMOTE PILOT… NEED TO BE AWARE OF ALL LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE OPERATION "European Union Working to Harmonize UAS Regulations" inside-unmanned-systems- european-union-working-uas- oliver-heinrich To trace the evolution of EU harmonization, see "Big Sky Europe?" at EXCLUSIVE many ways exceed the complexity of rules currently established on the member states' level. Overarching is the principle of an operations-centric, risk-based ap- proach. This means that basically three elements de- termine how an unmanned aircraft may be operated and what the operational requirements are: (i) The technical capabilities and characteristics of the unmanned aircraft: e.g. its maximum take- off mass (MTOM); video and audio recording capa- bilities; guidance-, control- and safety systems; etc.; (ii) the characteristics of the operation and op- erational environment, e.g. f light near or above people, residential areas, planned maximum above ground level of f light, transport of dangerous goods or people etc.; and (iii) UAS operator's responsibilities and remote pilot's competencies. As mentioned, the Basic Regulation expands the EU competence to all unmanned aircraft (UA), regardless of weight. It provides the basis and grants the legal competence for the adoption of the Implementing and Delegated Regulations, both ac- companied by Annexes with more details on tech- nical requirements. It's to be supplemented by ac- ceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance (material) currently available as a draft version. The Commission Implementing Regulation and its Annex focus on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft. It is also the in- strument's declared aim to establish three founda- tions for the upcoming development of airspace for urban UAS operations ("U-Space"), being registra- tion, geo-awareness and remote identification. OPEN, SPECIFIC OR CERTIFIED? A s a cornerstone of the EU UAS-rules, the Implementing Regulation defines the three main cat- egories for UAS operations, namely "open," "specific" and "certified." At this point of the legislative process, only the "open" category has been finalized in great detail. Under it, unmanned aircraft may be operated without authorization. For this, all three above-men- tioned operational aspects have to comply with the requirements specified for the "open" category. To not limit access to this category too much while still ap- plying the operation-centric and risk-based approach, three sub-categories (A1 to A3) are in turn linked to five different classes of unmanned aircraft (C0 to C4), based on their MTOM and other technical capabili- ties, operational scenarios and obligations, and remote pilot capacities. Only if the combined requirements are fulfilled can the operation be considered to fall in the "open" category and commence without further authorization. Otherwise, the operation will be sub- ject to the "specific" or even the "certified" category. To be granted an authorization under the "specific" category, the UAS operator is required to undertake and submit an individual risk assessment of the planned operation to the competent local authority, unless the operation can be shown to comply with a "standard scenario." Such a declaration of compliance with this scenario then merely needs to be verified by the local authority for completeness, and operations can start right away. While anxiously awaited by the drone community, the "standard" scenarios, which also include beyond visual line of sight operation (BVLOS), are currently not published in Appendix 1 to the Annex of the Implementing Regulations. Nevertheless, already interesting is the possibility to either receive authorizations for a number of opera- tions specified in time and/or location(s) or to make declarations based on national "standard" scenarios that may fill the lacunae for as long as this level of scenario is not adopted on the European level. Also of interest for professional drone users is the possibil- ity for legal entities to obtain a so-called "light UAS operator certificate" (LUC) as one-time authoriza- tions for companies that regularly use UAS in spe- cific scenarios. The rules for the "certified" category have also not yet been provided in detail. This third category can be expected to apply to heavyweight opera- tions, typically in high-risk scenarios comparable to current manned aviation, including the trans- port of people and carriage of dangerous goods. Accordingly, it will not only require certification of the UAS but also of the UAS operator and, where applicable, the licensing of the remote pilot. The Implementing Regulation also introduces registration requirements. All "UAS operators whose operation may present a risk to safety, security, pri- vacy and protection of personal data or environment" are subject to registration. UAS operators have to register themselves—not the drone as such—when operating a UAV that weighs at least 250 g or f lies so fast that the kinetic impact energy exceeds 80 joules, or which is equipped with sensors able to capture data unless it complies with Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of toys. The directive generally consid- ers toys as products "designed or intended, whether UAS LEGISLATION by OLIVER HEINRICH & JAN HELGE MEY

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