EASA Takes On Drones, Expands FAA Cooperation
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has announced it will expand its mandate to include authority over drones and urban air mobility vehicles, and will develop flight rules for these types of aircraft. EASA also plans to expand its role in areas such as environmental protection, research and development, international cooperation and cybersecurity. “This new mandate consolidates EASA’s scope to cover the full spectrum of the aviation landscape,” the agency said. “[The mandate] reinforces the European aviation system as a whole, with the possibility for EASA and European Member States to work closer together in a flexible way.”
The new regulations will be published by the end of this month, according to EASA. “In a sector facing unprecedented technological transformation, it was important to provide EASA with the proper tools and legal foundation to support the development of the aviation industry, in particular in domains like drones and digitization,” said Patrick Ky, executive director of EASA. “At the same time, we need to preserve the EU's societal aspirations for a safer and environmentally friendly world.” Also, EASA and the FAA issued a joint statement last month saying they will seek to further streamline certification systems, to make it easier for U.S. manufacturers to sell their products in Europe.