Articles Posted in Foreign Operations

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Airports around the globe are considering new methods to respond to the proliferation of unmanned aircraft systems (also known as “UAS” or “drones”) and the increased number of near-misses between drones and airplanes. In addition to strengthening its laws to curb such operations, the third busiest airport in the world, Dubai International Airport (DXB), has taken a technological approach to the problem—a sophisticated watchdog drone which can detect other drones flying in the airport’s perimeter and track down the operator’s location. Continue reading →

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The European Union (EU) is on the verge of revising its regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”) operations in Europe. The revisions will shift the regulation of UAS away from EU Member States to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as incorporate a risk and performance-based approach for UAS regulation.  Continue reading →

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This week’s news includes the continued rise of drone usage pretty much everywhere; a “drone freeze ray”; privacy issues around the shooting down of a drone; and other recent developments in UAV regulations and usage around the globe.

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Last month, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) published draft guidelines (Guidelines) as a basis for regulating the civil use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly called drones. The proposed regulations state that “operations of civil unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace are restricted,” though this is India’s first step to permit the use of UAS in the national airspace.

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A British Airways pilot believes that a drone, also known as a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), struck the front of the Airbus A320 during landing at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday, April 17. The aircraft landed safely and no damage was reported.  An investigation of the incident is ongoing and no arrests have been made.

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In 2015, Canada released a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA), proposing a new risk-based regulatory framework for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) that weigh less than 55 pounds (25 kg) and are operated within visual line-of-sight (VLOS). Although Canada and the U.S. have engaged to coordinate UAS activities and committed to establishing a mechanism to share experiences to align regulatory approaches (to the extent practical), the NPA sets forth a more complex framework for sUAS operations at various risk levels and may offer more flexibility to commercial users. The final rules are expected to be released this year.

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Japan’s new UAS rules become effective today. Similar to those in many other countries, including the U.S., operators of UAS exceeding a weight threshold must operate during daytime and within visual line of sight (VLOS), maintain distance between persons and properties, not operate over densely populated or congested areas, and not transport hazardous materials or drop objects.  Operations in certain airspace (e.g., around airports and above certain altitudes) and above densely populated areas will also require permission from the Japanese authorities.

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International laws and regulations regarding small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) are rapidly changing. Singapore’s new sUAS laws became effective on June 1, 2015, New Zealand’s new regulations come into effect August 1, 2015, and Australia plans to complete revisions of its sUAS regulations next year. This post reviews some notable changes in international sUAS laws and regulations. Continue reading →

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In March 2015, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) proposed a risk-based regulatory approach for the operation of UAS in Europe. In its “Concept of Operations,” EASA proposes three operational categories with increasing associated risk and regulatory requirements—Open, Specific, and Certification. EASA’s risk-based approach echoes the FAA’s proposed rules for small UAS (sUAS) and the Concept of Operations suggests that EASA’s Open category is similar to the FAA’s proposed sUAS rules. But, EASA goes further than the FAA’s proposed sUAS rules to provide a more comprehensive regulatory vision for UAS integration.

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