Integrating RPAS in the European aviation network: our role

EUROCONTROL supports its Member States to achieve safe, efficient and environmentaly friendly air traffic operations across the European region.

We work together with all aviation partners to deliver a Single European Sky that will help to meet the safety, capacity and performance challenges of European aviation in the 21st century.

Our role is quite unique in Europe, because:

  • we are the only organisation where EU and non-EU Member States come together to discuss Single European Sky implementation;
  • we provide the technical expertise for buiding the Single European Sky;
  • we offer a platform for civil-military coordination, building on decades of strong military involvement in our activities;
  • we support the day-to-day operations of the European air traffic management (ATM) network;
  • we help and coordinate the response to crisis situations in Europe;
  • we provide public service functions that only reap their full benefits if organised at a pan-European level, such as the collection of route charges.

Within the context of EUROCONTROL's role as described above the RPAS ATM integration project aims at safely integrating Civil and Military RPAS into non-segregated airspace on a transparent and safe manner. In this, EUROCONTROL is responsible for the ATM part of the integration. We work closely with the European Commission (EC), SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA),  Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS), European Space Agency (ESA),  North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), European Defence Agency (EDA) and many other entities to ensure this happens in a harmonised and timely manner.

We also, through our support to States mechanism, at a Pan-European level, drive harmonisation by using JARUS material helping States develop national RPAS regulation to support a single European market.

EUROCONTROL is responsible for:

  • providing the framework for the coherent and extensive exchange of operational and technical expertise in the area of RPAS operations;
  • cooperating in RPAS-related R&D work, with the aim of ensuring interoperability and harmonisation;
  • identifying those aspects of RPAS operations (both current and future) that might require special consideration by ATM;
  • defining ATM’s operational requirements for RPAS in non-segregated airspace, including acceptable RPAS performance levels, based on validated RPAS performance data;
  • supporting the development of a short- to medium-term roadmap for the progressive integration of RPAS into European airspace. This will include the development of generic interim measures and procedures which will support limited operations in non-segregated airspace, before RPAS acquires full certification;
  • defining quantified safety requirements for the operation of RPAS both within and outside segregated airspace, as required;
  • further identifying ATM’s security requirements for RPAS; these requirements will focus on operating and integrating RPAS into the ATM system;
  • identifying Human Factors issues associated with R&D as well as operating and integrating RPAS into the ATM system;
  • proposing strategies for resolving Human Factors issues and their potential impact;
  • establishing and maintaining a stakeholder consultation mechanism;
  • addressing civil/military integration issues and identifying possible synergies.