The European Commission online survey and review of RPAS drones in the civil arena





From crop spraying to aerial photography, even to pizza delivery, the use of drones in civilian life is expanding rapidly. But this increased use throws up a multitude of questions. How safe are they? Do drones pose a privacy risk? What are the economic benefits to the UK and EU of drones? Is the European industry falling too far behind the rest of the world?


Although the benefits are clear in delivering services, creating jobs and encouraging economic growth, the topic stirs public debate and questions about how the technology will be regulated with public interest in mind.

UAVs are being used in agriculture, charity, conservation, emergency services, infrastructure, logistics, media, mining and oil and gas just to name a few sectors - and now in the US the media giant, Disney, is filing patents for UAVs for theme park use.


The extent of these uses of UAVs raises issues of safety, security and personal privacy. With this in mind, the European Commission intends to develop an initiative to regulate the use of UAVs. This could introduce European rules supporting the objectives to give the industry space and freedom needed and to ensure rights and interests of EU citizens are protected.

The EUs online questionnaire asks for:

Respondents profile
Expected market development
Problems to be addressed
Problem causes
Policy objectives
Policy options and measures
Impacts of policy options

Results will feed into the Commission impact assessment which will accompany a possible policy initiative on RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems).




By completing such survey you are providing the ammunition for EU civil servants to steer things the way that they want them to go, rather than seek genuine 'steer free' input. This is the problem with questionnaires, the person composing the forms is actually limiting the responses in accord with his own agenda - sometimes making assumptions. This of course masks a (hidden) agenda known only to a select few, or even worse, those with vested interests - typically financial interests that conflict with disruptive technology. You and your company may be better off not completing such an instrument and by making your own unfettered representations with the slant that best suits your objectives. By this means you could achieve a fairer outcome. As a general rule civil servants have not run a business of their own and sometimes consider that it is their function to make life as difficult as possible for entrepreneurs, rather than to encourage innovation.


The survey begins relatively innocuously by gathering information about you and your company, after which the fun begins.







Please provide information to help us build your profile as a respondent. In accordance with Regulation 45/2001, all personal data collected through this survey will be kept securely and will ultimately be destroyed.

Please note that the questionnaire will only use your full contribution if your name, organisation (if you answer on behalf of an organisation or institution) and contact details are provided. If you choose to not provide your name, organisation and contact details, you have the option of submitting a general comment only.





An individual
Aviation professional (working in the aviation industry as a pilot, crew member, controller, etc.)
RPAS operator
Commercial Air Transport operator
Business Aviation operator
Recreational aviation operator
Aerial work operator
Aircraft design, manufacturing, or maintenance
Air navigation service provider
Aerodrome operator
National regulator
Qualified entity, or other organisation officially recognized by the national authority
Training organisation for aviation professionals
EU institution/body
Stakeholder/industry association
Research organisation/university/consultancy
Other (please specify)







The aim of this section is to obtain stakeholders' views on the expected market developments, both in terms of development and production of RPAS and of the use of RPAS to deliver services. If you are active in the development or use of RPAS you are particularly encouraged to provide more details in the free text section below. This section should give an idea of the sense of urgency for possible public intervention, including the areas for government action.

1. How do you see the civil RPAS market developing?
Strongly disagree

Strongly agree

No opinion

RPAS technologies are already mature enough to allow for various civil applications in the next years
There are substantial business opportunities and commercial benefits for the EU business from the development and use of RPAS
The EU market for RPAS applications is developing slower than in other parts of the world
The EU RPAS manufacturing industry is not very competitive at the moment
A strong, integrated EU market is an effective means to make the EU RPAS industry globally competitive
I see a potential in RPAS for professional activities in the next five years
I see a potential in RPAS for daily life activities in the next five years
The potential for RPAS applications in the EU is lower than in other parts of the world
Demand for small RPAS with light weight and short flight distance will increase rapidly in the near future
Demand for large RPAS with heavy weight and long flight distance will increase rapidly in the near future






RPAS are a new technology for which little specific regulation exists. While there is already aviation legislation in place that could be applied to RPAS as well, it may not necessarily cover all aspects and specificities of the civil RPAS market. Thus, the aim of this section is to obtain stakeholders' views on the potential regulatory and market failures affecting RPAS application.
1. Overall, what is your opinion on the main problems affecting the development of the RPAS market?
Strongly disagree

Strongly agree

No opinion

The fragmentation of the RPAS market in the EU create entry barriers and negatively affect the competitiveness of EU companies*
Uncertainty about the future rules governing the development and use of RPAS hinders investment decisions*
The use of RPAS poses a threat to safety and could lead to fatal accidents*
The use of RPAS poses a threat to security because they could be used for unlawful actions*
The use of RPAS poses a threat to privacy or protection of personal data*
The current legislation does not provide effective protection against the safety, security and privacy risks linked to RPAS operations*
The current insurance regime does not sufficiently cover liability issues in case of accidents with RPAS*






Currently, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) can draft safety rules for unmanned aircraft with an operating mass above 150 kg. The lighter unmanned aircraft are under Member State competence. Some Member States have already adopted rules to guarantee the safety of simple operations for light RPAS, while other Member States are preparing rules. There has not been a consistent approach how to regulate them and rules differ between Member States.

Concerning aspects related to RPAS applications, the existing European or national laws on data protection, privacy, environment (noise) and insurance are also applicable to all operations carried out by RPAS, irrespective of their weight. There is, however, some uncertainty if the existing rules can be easily enforced and applied to RPAS operations.

The purpose of this section is to properly identify the causes of the problems so that they could be adequately addressed by any policy initiative.

1. What is your opinion on the factors that can negatively affect the use of RPAS?














And so on ...........................


We will be following this survey and reporting back as we learn more .....




The UN uses drone to monitor populations and for relief purposes






Beyond the military applications of UAVs with which "drones" became most associated, numerous civil aviation uses have been developed, including aerial surveying of crops, acrobatic aerial footage in filmmaking, search and rescue operations, inspecting power lines and pipelines, and counting wildlife, delivering medical supplies to remote or otherwise inaccessible regions, with some manufacturers rebranding the technology as "unmanned aerial systems" (UASs) in preference over "drones." Drones have also been used by animal-rights advocates to determine if illegal hunting is taking place, even on private property. Drones equipped with video cameras are being used by the League Against Cruel Sports, a British animal-rights group, to spot instances of illegal fox hunting. UAVs are nowadays routinely used in several applications where human interaction is difficult or dangerous. These applications range from military to civilian and include reconnaissance operations, border patrol missions, forest fire detection, surveillance, and search/rescue missions.







In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration has adopted the name unmanned aircraft (UA) to describe aircraft systems without a flight crew on board. More common names include UAV, drone, remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), and remotely operated aircraft (ROA). These "limited-size" (as defined by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) unmanned aircraft flown in the USA's National Airspace System, flown solely for recreation and sport purposes, such as models, are generally flown under the voluntary safety standards of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the United States' national aeromodeling organization. To operate a UA for non-recreational purposes in the United States, according to the FAA users must obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to operate in national airspace. At the moment, COAs require a public entity as a sponsor. For example, when BP needed to observe oil spills, they operated the Aeryon Scout UAVs under a COA granted to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. COAs have been granted for both land and shipborne operations.


The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 sets a deadline of September 30, 2015, for the agency to establish regulations to allow the use of commercial drones. In the meantime, the agency claims it is illegal to operate commercial unmanned aerial vehicles, but approves non-commercial flights under 400 feet if they follow Advisory Circular 91-57, Model Aircraft Operating Standards, published in 1981. However, the FAA's attempt to fine a commercial drone operator for a 2011 flight were thrown out on 6 March 2014 by NTSB judge Patrick Geraghty, who found that the FAA had not followed the proper rulemaking procedures and therefore had no UAV regulations. The FAA will appeal the judgement. Texas EquuSearch, which performs volunteer search and rescue operations, was also challenging FAA rules in 2014.






The CAA directly or indirectly regulates all aspects of aviation in the UK. In some aspects of aviation it is the primary regulator, in other areas, where the responsibility for regulation has passed to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the CAA acts as EASA's local office, implementing the regulations. Representatives from the CAA sit on EASA's advisory bodies, taking part in the Europe-wide regulation process.

The UK Government requires that the CAA’s costs are met entirely from its charges on those whom it regulates. Unlike many other countries, there is no direct Government funding of the CAA’s work. It is classed as a public corporation, established by statute, in the public sector. The connection it has with the government is via the Machinery of Government and Standards Group of the Cabinet Office.


The CAA regulates (approximately):

*Active professional and private pilots (50,000)
*Licensed aircraft engineers (12,400)
*Air traffic controllers (2,350)
*Airlines (206)
*Licensed aerodromes (141)
*Organisations involved in the design, production and maintenance of aircraft (950)
*ATOL holders (2,400)
*Aircraft registered in the UK (19,000)


The CAA was established in 1972, under the terms of the Civil Aviation Act 1971, following the recommendations of a government committee chaired by Sir Ronald Edwards. Previously, regulation of aviation was the responsibility of the Air Registration Board. The current main Act of Parliament regulating aviation in the UK is the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Responsibility for air traffic control in the UK passed to NATS in the run-up to the establishment of its public-private partnership in 2001.




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Main Switchboard: 01293 567171

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Telephone: 01293 573700
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Telephone contact for all theoretical knowledge examination matters is 01293 573444 (operating hours 0900-1600 Mon-Fri, excluding public holidays).

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Telephone: 01293 573270
Email: ats.licensing@caa.co.uk


Telephone: 01293 573700
Email: medicalweb@caa.co.uk 
















Commercial UAV show, Olympia, London, 2014





Wikipedia Baroness O'Cathain

UK Parliament Baroness O'Cathain

Totally Unmanned 2014 house-lords-launch-civil-uav-inquiry

United Kingdom Parliament Lords select EU internal market sub committee inquiries civil-use of rpas

Defense One  every-country-will-have-armed-drones-within-ten-years


Totally unmanned

Olympia commercial uav show


Wikipedia Civil_Aviation_Authority














US drones military defense







The patent applied for Bluebird ZEV concept is an ideal platform for use as a countermeasure to the increasing number of aerial drones, to log and monitor, and if necessary shoot down airborne vehicles (under human command) that violate sovereign airspace. Strategic patrols of ZCCs could form a shield against invasion, much like the Israeli Iron Dome. A ZCC robot ship is designed to use no diesel fuel to monitor the oceans autonomously and continuously 24/7 and 365 days a year. This vessel would pay for itself in fuel saved every ten years. Any agency employing solar energy for transport will lower their carbon footprint and reduce their energy bill in one stroke.



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