44

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Civil and military drones: Navigating a disruptive and dynamic technological ecosystem

08-10-2019

Often labelled as one of today's main disruptive technologies, drones have indeed earned this label by prompting a fundamental rethinking of business models, existing laws, safety and security standards, the future of transport, and modern warfare. The European Union (EU) recognises the opportunities that drones offer and sees them as opening a new chapter in the history of aerospace. The EU aviation strategy provides guidance for exploring new and emerging technologies, and encourages the integration ...

Often labelled as one of today's main disruptive technologies, drones have indeed earned this label by prompting a fundamental rethinking of business models, existing laws, safety and security standards, the future of transport, and modern warfare. The European Union (EU) recognises the opportunities that drones offer and sees them as opening a new chapter in the history of aerospace. The EU aviation strategy provides guidance for exploring new and emerging technologies, and encourages the integration of drones into business and society so as to maintain a competitive EU aviation industry. Ranging from insect-sized to several tonnes in weight, drones are extremely versatile and can perform a very large variety of functions, from filming to farming, and from medical aid to search and rescue operations. Among the advantages of civil and military drones are their relative low cost, reach, greater work productivity and capacity to reduce risk to human life. These features have led to their mass commercialisation and integration into military planning. Regulatory and oversight challenges remain, however, particularly regarding dual-use drones – civil drones that can be easily turned into armed drones or weaponised for criminal purposes. At EU level, the European Commission has been empowered to regulate civil drones and the European Aviation Safety Agency to assist with ensuring a harmonised regulatory framework for safe drone operations. The latest EU legislation has achieved the highest ever safety standards for drones. Another challenge remaining for regulators, officials and manufacturers alike is the need to build the trust of citizens and consumers. Given that drones have been in the public eye more often for their misuse than their accomplishments, transparency and effective communication are imperative to prepare citizens for the upcoming drone age.

EU external aviation policy

04-10-2019

The 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation ('Chicago Convention') is the chief regulatory framework for international civil aviation, but also the most important primary source of public international aviation law and the umbrella under which bilateral air service agreements have been developed. While early bilateral air service agreements between states were quite restrictive, to protect their respective flag carriers, the United States proposed a more flexible model of bilateral air services ...

The 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation ('Chicago Convention') is the chief regulatory framework for international civil aviation, but also the most important primary source of public international aviation law and the umbrella under which bilateral air service agreements have been developed. While early bilateral air service agreements between states were quite restrictive, to protect their respective flag carriers, the United States proposed a more flexible model of bilateral air services agreements in the early 1990s, the 'Open Skies' agreements. Challenges to these agreements on the grounds that some of their provisions did not conform to Community law, led to the 2002 European Court of Justice 'Open Skies' judgments. These judgments triggered the development of an EU external aviation policy, leading to the conclusion of horizontal agreements and the negotiation and conclusion of comprehensive EU agreements with some neighbouring countries and key trading partners. To tackle the challenges currently facing international air transport and, in particular, increased competition from third countries, in December 2015, the Commission adopted a new aviation strategy for Europe that places great emphasis on the EU's external dimension, which the EU has started delivering, for instance with the adoption of a new EU tool to ensure fair competition between Union and third-country air carriers and the ongoing negotiations for new air transport agreements. This is an updated edition of a Briefing published in November 2016: PE 582.021.

ICAO Agreement on CO2 emissions from aviation

23-09-2019

At its 39th triennial Assembly in 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reached an agreement to tackle international aviation emissions. The first agreement of this type applying to a specific sector of the economy, its key component is the establishment of a global market-based measure to offset CO2 emissions from international aviation. Work is going on, at both EU and ICAO level, in order to have the new system operational in 2021.

At its 39th triennial Assembly in 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reached an agreement to tackle international aviation emissions. The first agreement of this type applying to a specific sector of the economy, its key component is the establishment of a global market-based measure to offset CO2 emissions from international aviation. Work is going on, at both EU and ICAO level, in order to have the new system operational in 2021.

EU certification of aviation security screening equipment

07-07-2019

In 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a certification system for aviation security screening equipment. The proposal sought ‘to contribute to the proper functioning of the EU internal market and to increase the global competitiveness of the EU industry by establishing an EU certification system for aviation security equipment’. This system was to be based on EU type-approval and issuance of a certificate of conformity by manufacturers, which would have ...

In 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a certification system for aviation security screening equipment. The proposal sought ‘to contribute to the proper functioning of the EU internal market and to increase the global competitiveness of the EU industry by establishing an EU certification system for aviation security equipment’. This system was to be based on EU type-approval and issuance of a certificate of conformity by manufacturers, which would have been valid in all Member States, according to the principle of mutual recognition. Progress on the proposal rapidly reached a stalemate. Consequently, in its 2019 work programme, the Commission announced its intention to withdraw the proposal, noting that there was a common understanding that an EU certification system would be better reached by amending existing implementing legislation based on Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security. The proposal was formally withdrawn on 21 June 2019. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Artificial Intelligence and civil law; liability rules for drones

13-12-2018

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management ...

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management approach, the study elaborates recommendations for future policy formulation.

External author

Andrea Bertolini

New civil aviation safety rules

15-10-2018

Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport, and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. New technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to update aviation safety rules ...

Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport, and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. New technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to update aviation safety rules. Two years later, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the new rules and the rules have been in force since 11 September 2018. The reform includes the first-ever EU rules for civil drones, extends the EASA's mandate and provides for using existing resources more efficiently. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 620.199, 28 March 2018.

Common rules in the field of civil aviation

06-06-2018

As air traffic is growing and new technologies such as unmanned aircraft are appearing in the skies, the European Union has decided to adapt its civil aviation rules. In December 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on civil aviation safety and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which would repeal the 2008 regulation on the same topic. Two years later, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the new rules. The provisional ...

As air traffic is growing and new technologies such as unmanned aircraft are appearing in the skies, the European Union has decided to adapt its civil aviation rules. In December 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on civil aviation safety and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which would repeal the 2008 regulation on the same topic. Two years later, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the new rules. The provisional agreement is scheduled to be voted by Parliament at first reading during the June plenary session.

New civil aviation safety rules

28-03-2018

Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport, and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. New technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to update aviation safety rules ...

Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport, and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. New technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to update aviation safety rules. Two years later, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the new rules. The reform includes the first-ever EU rules for civil drones, extends the EASA's mandate and provides for using existing resources more efficiently. The provisional agreement now needs to be confirmed by Parliament in plenary. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 595.877, 12 January 2017.

CO2 emissions from aviation

23-01-2018

CO2 emissions from all flights to and from airports in the European Economic Area (EEA) have been included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) since 2012. Although this would include flights between an airport within the EEA and an airport outside it, the application of the ETS to such flights was temporarily suspended, until the end of 2016, to allow for the development of emission-reduction measures with a global scope by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and to avoid conflicts ...

CO2 emissions from all flights to and from airports in the European Economic Area (EEA) have been included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) since 2012. Although this would include flights between an airport within the EEA and an airport outside it, the application of the ETS to such flights was temporarily suspended, until the end of 2016, to allow for the development of emission-reduction measures with a global scope by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and to avoid conflicts with international trading partners. In October 2016, ICAO adopted a global market based measure (GMBM), which would become operational in 2021. In February 2017, the European Commission proposed a regulation to prolong the derogation for extra-EEA flights, gradually reduce the number of aviation allowances from 2021 onwards, and prepare for the implementation of the GMBM. After its adoption by Council and Parliament, the regulation entered into force on 29 December 2017.

New civil aviation safety rules

12-01-2017

Despite some recent high-profile disasters, flying remains one of the safest forms of transport and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. In addition, new technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European ...

Despite some recent high-profile disasters, flying remains one of the safest forms of transport and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. In addition, new technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to replace the current Regulation on civil aviation safety and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The new proposal would introduce risk- and performance-based rules, close some safety gaps and interlinks safety more closely with other domains such as security and the environment. It proposes to strengthen EASA's role and take several measures to use existing resources more efficiently (e.g. sharing aviation inspectors). It also introduces essential requirements for drones. In November 2016, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism generally backed the updated rules, in particular the idea of regulating drones at EU level. The report constitutes Parliament’s position for negotiations with the Council, which adopted its general approach for the negotiations with the Parliament on 1 December 2016. This updates an earlier edition, of January 2016: PE 573.933. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

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