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Friday, December 15, 2017
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Agricultural Study Group within UVS-International

All over the world, aviation authorities are working on defining the rules and procedures for a safe integration of UAS into the airspace.


Clearly this is not easy because the diversity of UAS is enormous: from small sub-kilo battery-powered quadcopters to large military drones with tonnes of fuel and other payloads.

The aviation authorities are now preparing for adding (allowing) UAS in the airspace. In this respect they prefer to speak about Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) because it more strongly indicates that they expect that every aircraft still has a pilot, but the difference is that (s)he is not on-board. Or as someone put it: “There is nothing unmanned about unmanned aircrafts!”. This facilitates uptake in regulations, where the role of the pilot is quite important. And even though trend watchers see an important role for flying robots to monitor and report on crop status autonomously, we are focused on remotely-piloted operations as part of our service, where licensed pilots guarantee a safe and efficient flight. Our focus on agriculture leads to sector-specific specifications and regulations. Therefore, FieldCopter has taken the initiative to start a study group on UAS usage in agriculture, with the object of communicating the needs and wishes of the agricultural domain and setting these requirements in a larger context, thereby contributing to the development of regulations.

We know that the aviation authorities are rightly focused on a regulatory framework that caters for the safety of property and people in inhabited areas.  However, we intend to promote the concept of differentiation of UAS operations for agriculture on the basis that this mostly takes place in uncongested areas and thereby expedite the introduction of the necessary regulation.print
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FieldCopter is carried out in the context of the Galileo FP7 R&D programme supervised by the GSA (Nr. 277612-2).