THE CASE OF DRONES REPRESENTS THE EUROPEAN DISCREPANCY.
By: Olivier Fontaine
This is symptomatic. Drones might be a part of solution to the current financial crisis but each European country draws different rules from its neighbours. The fact is that countries are publicly defending the principle of harmonized rules whereas behind the curtain they draw their own. While waiting for the SESAR outlook publication, in Italy all the existing (drones) training centres are now shuttered 1 by Italian NAA. There are evident delay in the publication of the rules concerning Europe Countries. Those postponement brings us to think there are true difficulties in the rule-making backstage and it is hard to reach compromises between countries. At this point we are authorized to ask: What about our promised jobs?
Drones are SYMBOL of the European FRAGMENTARY NATURE.
Thanks to the drones, we are in the presence of the best opportunity of the third millennium. RPAS are actually able to help solve problems of unemployment. This new technology may also give a solution to cure the world hunger thanks to drones applied in the field of precision farming.
But apparently some Europeans Countries have difficulties due to their lobbies. This matter of fact was underlined by the JARUS chairman at the RPAS2015 last year. The European aeronautical past showed that a same framework of rules could generate different interpretations as we have seen in the airspace classification for example1. As European citizens, we may understand the reasons of such discrepancies between our countries' airspaces inherited from our WWI and WWII. But from the very beginning2 of the drones rulemaking, we have been speculating that the countries are creating incompatible rules, which will be able to destroy all our expectations of a new kind of work and activities. Since the very start, forecasts on the economic growth of drones, foresaw a lot of jobs opportunities (see illustration #1). It is so clear that even the International Labour Organization3 is interested in drones as well as in 3D printing and in other new technologies. Ghana Civil Aeronautical Authority is coming up with standards and practices for RPAS as well as the Nigerian NAA. But here in Europe, we are still waiting for a framework of rules which is appropriate and equal to each Country. The European States are behaving as they were at a flea market looking like disdaining the evident problem of lack of jobs, which stands out as an remarkable impoverishment of our Continent.
It’s difficult to accept that EC growth and/or EC mobility contemplate the possibility to acknowledge to single countries a certain rate of flexibility in the understanding of the rules. At this point we may express some doubts on the sincerity of our rule-makers.
3 I.L.O. is a United Nation organization
The Schengen of drones
In synthesis the Schengen principle states that: “The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed by the EU to its citizens. It entitles every EU citizen to travel, work and live in any EU country without special formalities”. And we especially want to underline that the treaty also deals with employment.
Our national responsible, often put forward so-called cultural differences among point of view, especially when we consider the safety aspects of RPAS. Our impression is that those arguments are far from any real process of hazard identification through safety analysis and risk assessment. The result is a complete lack of coordinated and harmonized rules concerning drones all over the Europe. Despite of Schengen treaty, these rules that are not homogeneous, prevent operators from working cross-border, unless they had special formalities.
On the other hand we have noticed some discrepancy of competences required, discrimination of training, huge economical disparity. Each country has a protectionist attitude and is building its own rules. Fortunately the EC is responding to that grim situation with the article 45-46-47 of it last "COM(2015)/613/final" repealing the actual Reg-(EC)-N°-216/2008. But during the UVS RPAS2016 this repeal was discussed by representative EC Mobility and EC Growth by saying that the EC does not have the power to oblige the states to agree upon the same rules and EC will be supposed to introduce some flexibility if requested by the single Countries.
Might aviation inspire RPAS policies?
It is urgent to come back to the spirit of peace and freedom characteristic of the end of the last century that aviation leave to us. It’s an evidence that in the history, aviation plays a role in ensuring peace1 and at the same time aviation generates economic growth2. Both are relevant aspects to the United Nations whereof ICAO is part. As well as ILO reflects the concept of “decent works for all” it obviously takes into account drones as well ICAO with its NCLB3 aviation program or with its publication of a dedicated to RPAS (drone) DOC10019 AN/507, is thinking globally in terms of workforce and growth.
Instead of that, a rapid overview, calls into question the real intent of each of our states as members of Europe. We can sum up that we have operators that are totally kept out, detached and isolated from U.N. principles and from the European and Schengen treaty, by our own countries.
There are several reasons for this :
1 “THE ROLE OF CIVIL AVIATION IN SECURING PEACE” and “Aviation and International Cooperation: Human and Public Policy Issues” Di Ruwantissa Abeyratne.
2 AVIATION BENEFITS BEYOND BORDERS Powering global economic growth, employment, trade links, tourism and support for sustainable development through the air transport (ATAG 2014)
3 NCLB No Country Left Behind
THE LAST RING OF THE CHAIN of THE NINE FREEDOM OF THE AIR
Part of the solution to the financial depression may be all the new jobs and activities brought by RPAS. But, a part of the industry want to automatize the work and that may iron out human workforce. In the meantime there’s the temptation from the states themselves to close in upon itself.
Those incompatible paradigms will never be in the position to switch out the schizophrenic policies of our national politicians. Their behaviours consist of telling us whopping tales in both directions to defend internal intermediate industrial lobbies and/or unknown interests far from the operators that are the last link in the chain.
What about the proposal guide material elaborated in the NAAs association (JARUS1) created with the clear goal to build harmonized rules, and the real huge discrepancies between national rules? De facto and in practice, the states concerned are also members of ICAO and members of JARUS organization but we noticing that most of the time, countries draw their RPAS rules disregarding the JARUS GM, the U.N. peace principle that is contained in the ICAOs freedom of the air with a particular attention to the 9th freedom (2) and the Schengen treaty.
1 JARUS Joint Authorities rulemaking Unmanned System Sapritalia was stakeholder at JARUS second harmonization workshop of Bern.
2 the right to fly inside a foreign country without continuing to one's own country
It is inappropriate that some state writes different rules from the others and the JARUS ones. In addition, in that precise context, it is particularly unfair to publish the national rules before JARUS has published its draft. Even if these countries are acting in a legal way, we doubt they are acting in good faith. We also notice that in certain cases, in some countries, rule-makers are not precisely “helping” operators, last ring of the chain.
|SAPRITALIA RPL Remote Pilot License Specific operation risk assessment SORA||