It’s a very complicated job and the steps are very small and cautious. The new unmanned air systems (UAS) division of the Israel civil aviation authority (CAA) is beginning to understand how complicated it is to let manned and unmanned platforms to fly in small airspace like the Israeli one.
The division has been recently formed to cope with the growing traffic of UAS in the country’s airspace.
Until now, a special technical committee of the CAA handled the issue and was in charge of approving flights of mostly Israeli air force (IAF) uas in the Israeli airspace, especially near areas of heavy commercial or general aviation traffic .
One typical problem studied by the new division is the minimum altitude separation between a manned aircraft and a UAS. Today, this separation is 1,000 feet and now the division is thinking of doubling it. This is only one of many issues that is being evaluated by the new division but the work is very complicated and decisions are made very slowly.
The Israeli developed UAS are getting smaller and bigger. While the army is introducing battalion and brigade level small UAVs, the IAF is increasing the use of big, heavy UAS like the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron-TP which has a wing span of a Boeing 737 .
This double sided situation is complicating the issues that have to be decided by the division without hampering the use of UAS for the everyday security missions flown by the IAF.