Drones are used for many things, from filming and taking photos to inspecting gas pipelines and spraying crops. But these small unmanned aircraft could also pose a risk to airplanes and be used to invade people’s privacy. On Thursday 10 November the transport committee approved changes to EU aviation safety rules that would also include basic safety measures for drones. Find out more about drones in our infographic.
Drones that weigh less 150 kilos are currently regulated at the national level, however having different safety and technical standards for each country is proving a headache for manufacturers and complicates cross-border cooperation.
MEPs would like to see basic requirements for civil drones weighing less than 150 kilos enshrined in EU legislation to ensure clarity and coherence, especially concerning safety and privacy. This includes the mandatory registration of drones that weigh more 250 grammes.
Romanian EPP member Marian-Jean Marinescu, the MEP responsible for steering the new rules through Parliament, explained after the committee vote why new legislation was needed: “Drones are more and more visible in our daily lives. They create all kinds of new opportunities for people and businesses. However, it also means that accidents can happen or drones can be used to cause harm. We are therefore strongly in favour of new rules that make registration mandatory above 250 grams and that requires operations to have the necessary skills to fly a drone in public spaces. This will not affect the vast majority of the 'toy' drones that people use now."