Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are creating a new industry with large economic potential. Over the past years, the civil UAS sector has experienced significant and exponential growth, with a strong impact on traditional aviation systems and on shaping innovation in aviation. It is within this context that ECAC Member States are being challenged with the safe, secure and efficient integration of UAS into environments shared by a highly regulated and well-established, manned aircraft industry.

UAS is considered to be a strategically important sector, with transversal implications affecting several industries. In 2019, ECAC added to its goals the promotion and harmonised development of the UAS future in Europe at a strategic level. ECAC's work in this area focuses on exchanging high-level views on possible developments to cope with current and future challenges in the field of UAS, which evolve dynamically.

At the same time, ECAC supports the sharing of experiences and national policies and practices on UAS among its Member States and other strategic international key partners such as China, India, Israel and the United States.

Current focus areas

UAS points of contact meet around twice a year to exchange in-depth information on key issues and practical developments under the domain of UAS. Current focus areas include:

  • the implementation of unmanned traffic management systems, including U-Space;
  • complex and high-risk UAS operations;
  • Innovative Air Mobility and decarbonisation;
  • electronic conspicuity; and
  • safe and sustainable integration of UAS and manned aviation.

Reports & News

ECAC RPAS Report 2019

Download here the Executive Summary of the ECAC RPAS Report 2019 on Commercial Drones Regulation and Industry Analyses, Trends, Opportunities and Forecasting (First edition, April 2020).

UAS Bulletin

In May 2021, ECAC launched the first edition of the UAS Bulletin, an online publication which addresses the key unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) initiatives making progress in ECAC Member States and internationally, as well as the strategic aspects to be considered for the development of this sector.

Find out more about the UAS Bulletin here.

Publications on unmanned aircraft systems

ECAC News #73 UAS Bulletin 02/2021