UK Military Aviation Authority to Update Unmanned Operations Guidelines

2015-10-20

UK Military Aviation Authority to Update Unmanned Operations Guidelines
The UK’s Military Aviation Authority is preparing the release of an updated version of its regulations on unmanned air vehicles, which will draw on feedback from a first document that was released last January.

Following the UKs drawdown from Afghanistan – a theatre in which UAVs were operated in segregated military airspace and often procured under urgent operational requirement deals the Ministry of Defence saw a requirement for future operations to allow for remotely-piloted air systems (RPAS) to be flown in non-segregated airspace. It introduced the new specific regulations as a result.

“We saw that there would be a proliferation of RPAS in the military sphere,” an MAA representative told a Royal Navy conference in September. There was a requirement for regulations to cover RPAS-specific issues.

The UKs Military Aviation Authority (MAA) is preparing the release of an updated version of its regulations on unmanned air vehicles, which will draw on feedback from a first document that was released in January of last year.

Following the UKs drawdown from Afghanistan a theatre in which unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) were operated in segregated military airspace and often procured under urgent operational requirement deals the Ministry of Defence saw a requirement for future operations to allow for remotely-piloted air systems (RPAS) to be flown in non-segregated airspace. It introduced the new specific regulations as a result.

We saw that there would be a proliferation of RPAS in the military sphere, an MAA representative told a Royal Navy conference in September. There was a requirement for regulations to cover RPAS-specific issues.

The MAA replicated the UK Civil Aviation Authority in mandating that the safety of the systems and the safe way in which they are flown as the most important factors, the representative notes. However, if aircraft are to be flown by the military, they need to be certificated accordingly, and CAA clearance is not enough.

The first document, Regulatory Article (RA) 1600, used weight as the discriminator between different UAV classes.

The MAA has acknowledged that these regulations are not necessarily proportionate, so it could start integrating some of the CAAs approach to UAV regulations, which considers the way in which such equipment will be operated. For example, if the aircraft will be flown within line of sight of the operator, the rules could be more lenient.

Identifying that changes have to be made, the MAA is now preparing a second version of the ruling. This is currently at the draft stage, and is expected to be released in January 2016. The new RA may also allow for more acceptance of commercial certifications as evidence of a systems safety.

The current regulations split UAVs into three classes, with class I covering small systems, with this class further splitting into four weight divisions.

Class I covers aircraft from the British Armys Prox Technologies Black Hornet nano UAV up to 150kg (330lb) systems, while classes II and III cover aircraft that are considered to have manned-aircraft equivalence.

Even in its current state, it does offer significant relief from the previous MRP [MAA regulatory publication] for small RPAS, the MAA notes. But its only the first step.




FAA Announces Small UAS Registration Rule

2015-12-15
FAA Announces Small UAS Registration Rule
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Japans Clue launches DroneCloud, data management platform for businesses using drones

2015-12-08
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Minnesota DoT Testing Drones for Bridge Inspections

2015-11-30
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Over 2,100 Commercial End Users, Vendors at First Annual Drone World Expo

2015-11-23
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Drone Standards Tough To Reach For Young Pilots

2015-11-11
Drone Standards Tough To Reach For Young Pilots

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2015-11-04
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US DoT Seeks Public Comments on UAS Registration

2015-10-26
US DoT Seeks Public Comments on UAS Registration

In a surprise move, DOT just published a document,Clarification of the Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for UAS and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration for UAS, to the Federal Register. DOT is soliciting recommendations on all aspects of the UAS registration process, including which UAS should be exempt from the registration requirement.

Drones are providing film and TV viewers a new perspective on the action

2015-10-09
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 Air National Guard wants to Fly MQ-9 Reaper from Syracuses Hancock Airport

2015-10-04
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NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research

2015-09-29
NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research

Two Northwest Nazarene University assistant professors have been awarded a NASA grant to support their research on wildfire monitoring and assessment technology.
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