European Commission satisfied with current drone regulations

European Commission satisfied with current drone regulations


Belgium, December 2, 2014: The European Commission (EU Commission) has released the results of two studies it had conducted which address key social impacts of the commercial use of drones.

The European market for civil drones (or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – RPAS), the Commission’s first study on privacy, data protection and ethical risks in civil RPAS operations, found the current European and member state regulatory frameworks are largely adequate to address the privacy, data protection and ethical impacts of RPAS. It further added that the problem lies in educating the RPAS industry about its obligations and enforcing the regulatory mechanisms that are in place.

The report calls for a closer collaboration between civil aviation authorities and DPAs to work together to ensure that data protection safeguards have been conducted, when they deliver flight permits. It also recommends development of a privacy impact assessment framework for RPAS and awareness-raising activities targeted at the RPAS industry that clarify privacy and data protection requirements, as well as privacy-by-design features and practices. It highlights the need for industry and data protection authorities (DPAs) to develop national or cross-national information resources enabling citizens to identify the missions and operators associated with individual RPAS.

The second study, which was on third-party liability and insurance requirements, investigated the current regulatory framework and insurance market, in order to assess whether they could ensure effective compensation of victims in case of an accident.

EU Commission concluded that there is no immediate need to adapt national liability regimes or the EU insurance regulation applying to professional use of RPAS. However, it identified a need to raise awareness about existing regulations and support the development of an appropriate insurance offer.