The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has created a task force to assess the risk of collision between drones and manned aircraft.
EASA says it is currently developing a regulatory framework for the safe operations of drones in Europe. Regarding the issue of collision between drones and planes, EASA is considering a combination of measures: operating within the visual line of sight, flying below 150 meters in altitude, equipping the drone with identification and geo-limitation functions, and registering it. In addition, any operation of drones close to aerodromes would require a specific authorization, based on a risk assessment, from the national aviation authority.
The task force will work on the following:
- Review all relevant occurrences, including those collected by the European member states;
- Analyze the existing studies on the subject of impact between drones and aircraft;
- Study the vulnerabilities of aircraft (windshields, engines and airframes), taking into account the different categories of aircraft (large aeroplanes, general aviation and helicopters) and their associated design and operational requirements; and
- Consider the possibility to do further research and perform actual tests (for example, on windshields).
EASA will chair the task force, which will include representatives from aircraft and engine manufacturers. The group will consult the European member states and other relevant stakeholders, as well as foreign authorities. At the end of July, it will publish its results and organize a workshop with stakeholders to present and discuss its findings and recommendations.