Integrating the RPAS in the European sky

- Riga, Latvia.

High level conference on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) will set the tone for the policy promoting further steps in evolving the aviation industry and move towards safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in the European air traffic. The conference will take place in Riga, 5 -  6 March.

New technologies make innovative operations and services possible. However, there is a need for a consistent regulatory framework to allow RPAS operations in a way that respects high level of safety, security and privacy. This conference will gather main stakeholders of the industry and high level regulators to lay down the principles of the future rules for RPAS.

“The main task of the common EU regulations is to encourage the development of the perspective RPAS market to strengthen its competitiveness on the global stage. The main focus of this conference is to frame the vison of the development of the industry for society to enjoy the utmost benefit from RPAS.” Anrijs Matīss, Minister for Transport of Latvia.

Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Mobility and Transport: "Europe needs to be ambitious and embrace drones as an essential part of the future of flying. They create opportunities and allow for more types of operations and services. Drones are already flying, and the market is pushing for more. However we need to create the right environment for them to flourish. Some Member States have already taken regulatory action, most have not. Time has come to start taking decisions, and the conference in Riga this week will help us do exactly that. We won't adopt rules and regulations at this conference but we should set out a clear vision on how we intend to tackle the issues."

The discussions will be set into three sessions. The first debate will be on the potential of the RPAS market and benefits gained from promoting RPAS industry – evolution of technologies, new workplaces and economical perspectives – and how will industry respond to safety, security and privacy concerns regarding RPAS. The industry representatives will draw attention on their vision of necessary RPAS regulation and infrastructure required.

The policy–makers will mark the main aspects of the balanced regulations regarding RPAS. One of the challenges of integration of RPAS into the common airspace is to keep regulation proportional to the risks that might arise. In order to encourage the growth of this fast evolving market, it is necessary to set common and comprehensive rules, avoiding the red tapes and taking into account vast ranges of usage and different forms of RPAS.

The third session will focus on challenges caused by protection of citizen’s fundamental rights. The opinion leaders will debate on data protection and security aspects – what are the regulatory demands, and how they affect the development of RPAS industry.

Practical demonstrations and exhibitions of RPAS will take place during the conference. The producers – Aerialtronics & DARPAS, Clear Flight Solutions, Cyberhawk, Helico Aerospace Industries, Royal Military Academy & ICARUS Consortum – will demonstrate their RPAS in action.

Live webstream of the conference will be available on the Website of the Latvian Presidency – EU2015.LV

The Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Civil Aviation Agency, in cooperation with European Commission, is organizing the conference during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The conference will bring together high level opinion leaders from the EU Member States and institutions, as well as international aviation organizations and members of aviation industry. The conference will be attended by Mr Anrijs Matīss, Minister for Transport of the Republic of Latvia, Ms Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport. The representatives from European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), European Defence agency (EDA), Eurocontrol, SESAR, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Air Transport Association (IATA), as well as the representatives from well known companies such as Flying-Cam, Amazone and also representatives form Latvian RPAS industry – UAV Factory, Drone Technology, Flyvision and Airdog manufacturer Helic Aerospace Industries are also invited to participate.

Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia
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