The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has delivered a digitalised and secure system for the exchange of drones registration data among the national authorities of the Member States, putting the technical framework in place to allow registered users to fly their drones anywhere in the European Union with a single registration.
Drone users will be legally obliged to register as users of their drones with their national aviation authorities from December 31, 2020, when the European regulation on drones (EU) 2019/947 takes effect.
“Drones are a new entrant to busy urban environments in particular, and it is important that the aviation authorities know who is using them and for what purpose, to ensure that citizens who are going about their daily business feel, and indeed are, safe, even if drones are flying nearby,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky.
“We want to make this process as straightforward as possible for the users. The repository allows information registered with one authority to be shared with others, creating the basis for seamless drone usage across the European Union without the need to register in separate Member States.“
The drones regulation was originally slated to come into force on June 30, 2020, but its applicability was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, it calls for the mandatory registration of drone operators and of “certified” drones, which are typically the larger drones used for business purposes. The regulation includes further provisions that will gradually become applicable up until 31 December, 2022.
The solution launched by EASA on October 15, 2020 is a broker system based on open web technologies and secured standards which facilitates the transfer of drones information between the Member States through the Agency, acting as a hub.
In parallel, it will act as a test case for a larger project to create a fully centralised database of information at EASA, providing the basis for more effective cooperation between EASA and its Member States on certification, oversight and enforcement, as required by Article 74 of the Basic Regulation.
This database, due to be launched in increments between mid-2022 and end-2024, will act as repository for certificates, approvals, licences, declarations and transfers of responsibilities, in addition to the drones registration data.