SkyBound Rescuer has launched a new free tool designed to make new EU drone laws, which came into force on 1 January, much simpler to interpret and understand.
Operators in EU countries must now adhere to the ‘EU UAS Regulation Package’ and with this development brings a steep learning curve of finding which category applies to any given drone operation.
SkyBound Rescuer’s new ‘Drone License Finder’ simplifies this process for EU drone pilots and is sponsored by Flock, HALO Drones, and Allan Panthera.
Drone pilots complete a series of 3 to 14 ‘yes/no’ questions about their drone and how they intend on flying it, to then receive their category/subcategory results and personalised guidance based on the answers they gave.
SkyBound Rescuer said that a “one size fits all” regulation is not a fair system, as it causes drone pilots that are always flying low risk operations (such as flying in large, open, and empty fields) to be trained to the same standard and regulated as strictly as drone pilots flying higher risk operations (such as flying in a city).
This is why the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has chosen to pursue a tiered approach to drone regulations through their use of drone pilot categories: Open, Specific, and Certified – with the Open Category being broken down further into Subcategories: A1, A2, and A3.
Whilst categorising drone pilots into categories and subcategories does prevent the aforementioned drawbacks of a “one size fits all” regulation, it however brings with it regulation complexity and the challenge of deciphering which category applies specifically to any given drone operation.
Before now, to learn the new regulations, a drone pilot would have needed to read 332 pages – that is the combined total of the EU legal documents (Implementing Regulation and Delegated Regulation) and the EASA guidance document (Easy Rules for UAS Regulations) – in order to first work out which category applies to them and, to potentially reread it, to then learn what applies to their applicable category/subcategory.
On top of that, the National Aviation Authorities of the countries that are adopting these regulations have also published separate guidance documents – for example, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have published CAP1789, which is a further 47 pages of reading.
Gemma Alcock, Founder and CEO of SkyBound Rescuer, said: “Complex regulations for drone pilots without simple guidance could result in mass confusion. Accidently breaking air laws, due to misunderstandings, can ruin a drone pilot’s career and can – sometimes – hold the industry back if it is severe enough for National Aviation Authorities to respond with stricter regulations.
“These changes then add to the overall confusion. No one wants that to happen. The new EU drone laws are a great step forward, but they are complex. However, that doesn’t mean that they need to be complicated to learn. My goal with this project was to simplify everyone’s learning journey, to ensure no one accidentally breaks these new rules. And that’s exactly what we have achieved with our Drone License Finder – which is so exciting.”