Commission adopts advanced rules for the safe operation of drones

The European Commission has adopted EU rules to ensure increasing drone traffic across Europe is safe and secure for people on the ground and in the air. The rules will apply to all operators of drones – both professionals and those flying drones for leisure. 

Following the recently adopted technical rules for drones, the Commission completes another key deliverable under the Commission's aviation strategy whose core objectives are to maintain the highest level of safety and to support the competitiveness of the EU's aviation industry. 

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The EU will now have the most advanced rules worldwide. This will pave the way for safe, secure and green drone flights. It also provides the much needed clarity for the business sector and for drone innovators Europe-wide.”

The rules were adopted on Friday.

As of 2020 drone operators will have to be registered with national authorities. Member States will be able to define so-called "no-fly zones" where – through satellite geo-location – drones will not be allowed to enter. 

“No-fly zones” may include airports and airfields or city centres. 

These rules, which will replace existing national rules in EU Member States, not only address safety but also contain important building blocks to mitigate drone related security risks. Through operators' registration, remote identification and definition of geographical zones, all national authorities will have means to prevent misuse or unlawful drone activities.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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