Fly and let fly – regulating the unmanned platforms

The range is impressive. It goes from micro unmanned air systems (UAS) through tactical 6kg UAS and up to a one-tonne UAS with a wingspan of a Boeing 737.


With the fast-growing use of UAS, Israel wants to ensure their close regulation as these robots in the sky fly in crowded Israeli airspace.


This created a problem as the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put the mini, the medium and the giants in the same box.


This looked unjustified to the manufacturers, and they appealed to the CAA, asking it to differentiate safety regulations that are mandatory to medium and large UAS from those that apply to the smaller and smallest ones.


The CAA has prepared a package of operational requirements that are aimed at increasing the safety of UAS flying in the limited Israeli airspace.


The regulations deal with the standard of UAS flight control systems through which systems can fly where, and also with the level and certification of the operator at the ground station.


According to some of the manufacturers, complying with the regulations has put a heavy burden on them. “We understand the situation but we at the same time think that there should be a difference between the demands that apply to a tactical UAS and those that apply to the large ones.”


The manufacturers have invested large sums of money in adapting manufacturing and operational procedures to the new regulations, which are strictly applied by a special department of the CAA.


Giora Romm, director general of the Israeli CAA, said that the issue is handled in full cooperation with the manufacturers. “I hope that we will find the right way to keep the highest safety standard, and at the same time allow the companies to perform their activities without any obstacles.”


The UAS regulations must be strict and enforced without any waivers. The question of whether there should be different sets of them for each class of UAS is now in the field of the Israeli regulators.


In a country that is developing and manufacturing so many UAS this is crucial for the companies, but no less so for the people who live under their flight paths and for people that still man cockpits of those archaic flying machines.


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