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Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947Show full title

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of 24 May 2019 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft (Text with EEA relevance)

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U.K.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947

of 24 May 2019

on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and amending Regulations (EC) No 2111/2005, (EC) No 1008/2008, (EU) No 996/2010, (EU) No 376/2014 and Directives 2014/30/EU and 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 216/2008 and (EC) No 552/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91(1), and in particular Article 57 thereof,

Whereas:

(1) Unmanned aircraft, irrespective of their mass, can operate within the same Single European Sky airspace, alongside manned aircraft, whether airplanes or helicopters.

(2) As for manned aviation, a uniform implementation of and compliance with rules and procedures should apply to operators, including remote pilots, of unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft system (‘UAS’), as well as for the operations of such unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft system.

(3) Considering the specific characteristics of UAS operations, they should be as safe as those in manned aviation.

(4) Technologies for unmanned aircraft allow a wide range of possible operations. Requirements related to the airworthiness, the organisations, the persons involved in the operation of UAS and unmanned aircraft operations should be set out in order to ensure safety for people on the ground and other airspace users during the operations of unmanned aircraft.

(5) The rules and procedures applicable to UAS operations should be proportionate to the nature and risk of the operation or activity and adapted to the operational characteristics of the unmanned aircraft concerned and the characteristics of the area of operations, such as the population density, surface characteristics, and the presence of buildings.

(6) The risk level criteria as well as other criteria should be used to establish three categories of operations: the ‘open’, ‘specific’ and ‘certified’ categories.

(7) Proportionate risks mitigation requirements should be applicable to UAS operations according to the level of risk involved, the operational characteristics of the unmanned aircraft concerned and the characteristics of the area of operation.

(8) Operations in the ‘open’ category, which should cover operations that present the lowest risks, should not require UAS that are subject to standard aeronautical compliance procedures, but should be conducted using the UAS classes that are defined in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945(2).

(9) Operations in the ‘specific’ category should cover other types of operations presenting a higher risk and for which a thorough risk assessment should be conducted to indicate which requirements are necessary to keep the operation safe.

(10) A system of declaration by an operator should facilitate the enforcement of this Regulation in case of low risk operations conducted in the ‘specific’ category for which a standard scenario has been defined with detailed mitigation measures.

(11) Operations in the ‘certified’ category should, as a principle, be subject to rules on certification of the operator, and the licensing of remote pilots, in addition to the certification of the aircraft pursuant to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945.

(12) Whilst mandatory for the ‘certified category’, for the ‘specific’ category a certificate delivered by the competent authorities for the operation of an unmanned aircraft, as well as for the personnel, including remote pilots and organisations involved in those activities, or for the aircraft pursuant to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 could also be required.

(13) Rules and procedures should be established for the marking and identification of unmanned aircraft and for the registration of operators of unmanned aircraft or certified unmanned aircraft.

(14) Operators of unmanned aircraft should be registered where they operate an unmanned aircraft which, in case of impact, can transfer, to a human, a kinetic energy above 80 Joules or the operation of which presents risks to privacy, protection of personal data, security or the environment.

(15) Studies have demonstrated that unmanned aircraft with a take-off mass of 250 g or more would present risks to security and therefore UAS operators of such unmanned aircraft should be required to register themselves when operating such aircraft in the ‘open’ category.

(16) Considering the risks to privacy and protection of personal data, operators of unmanned aircraft should be registered if they operate an unmanned aircraft which is equipped with a sensor able to capture personal data. However, this should not be the case when the unmanned aircraft is considered to be a toy within the meaning of Directive 2009/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the safety of toys(3).

(17) The information about registration of certified unmanned aircraft and of operators of unmanned aircraft that are subject to a registration requirement should be stored in digital, harmonised, interoperable national registration systems, allowing competent authorities to access and exchange that information. The mechanisms to ensure the interoperability of the national registers in this Regulation should be without prejudice to the rules applicable to the future repository referred to in Article 74 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139.

(18) In accordance with paragraph 8 of Article 56 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, this Regulation is without prejudice to the possibility for Member States to lay down national rules to make subject to certain conditions the operations of unmanned aircraft for reasons falling outside the scope of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, including public security or protection of privacy and personal data in accordance with the Union law.

(19) National registration systems should comply with the applicable Union and national law on privacy and processing of personal data and the information stored in those registrations systems should be easily accessible(4).

(20) UAS operators and remote pilots should ensure that they are adequately informed about applicable Union and national rules relating to the intended operations, in particular with regard to safety, privacy, data protection, liability, insurance, security and environmental protection.

(21) Some areas, such as hospitals, gatherings of people, installations and facilities like penal institutions or industrial plants, top-level and higher-level government authorities, nature conservation areas or certain items of transport infrastructure, can be particularly sensitive to some or all types of UAS operations. This should be without prejudice to the possibility for Member States to lay down national rules to make subject to certain conditions the operations of unmanned aircraft for reasons falling outside the scope of this Regulation, including environmental protection, public security or protection of privacy and personal data in accordance with the Union law.

(22) Unmanned aircraft noise and emissions should be minimised as far as possible taking into account the operating conditions and various specific characteristics of individual Member States, such as the population density, where noise and emissions are of concern. In order to facilitate the societal acceptance of UAS operations, Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 includes maximum level of noise for unmanned aircraft operated close to people in the ‘open’ category. In the ‘specific’ category there is a requirement for the operator to develop guidelines for its remote pilots so that all operations are flown in a manner that minimises nuisances to people and animals.

(23) Current national certificates should be adapted to certificates complying with the requirements of this Regulation.

(24) In order to ensure the proper implementation of this Regulation, appropriate transitional measures should be established. In particular, Member States and stakeholders should have sufficient time to adapt their procedures to the new regulatory framework before this Regulation applies.

(25) The new regulatory framework for UAS operations should be without prejudice to the applicable environmental and nature protection obligations otherwise stemming from national or Union law.

(26) While the ‘U-space’ system including the infrastructure, services and procedures to guarantee safe UAS operations and supporting their integration into the aviation system is in development, this Regulation should already include requirements for the implementation of three foundations of the U-space system, namely registration, geo-awareness and remote identification, which will need to be further completed.

(27) Since model aircraft are considered as UAS and given the good safety level demonstrated by model aircraft operations in clubs and associations, there should be a seamless transition from the different national systems to the new Union regulatory framework, so that model aircraft clubs and associations can continue to operate as they do today, as well as taking into account existing best practices in the Member States.

(28) In addition, considering the good level of safety achieved by aircraft of class C4 as provided in Annex to this Regulation, low risk operations of such aircraft should be allowed to be conducted in the ‘open’ category. Such aircraft, often used by model aircraft operators, are comparatively simpler than other classes of unmanned aircraft and should therefore not be subject to disproportionate technical requirements.

(29) The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the committee established in accordance with Article 127 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

(2)

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 of 12 March 2019 on unmanned aircraft systems and on third-country operators of unmanned aircraft systems (see page 1 of this Official Journal).

(3)

Directive 2009/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the safety of toys (OJ L 170, 30.6.2009, p. 1).

(4)

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).

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