A UAS study group under the auspices of ICAO will publish progressively more liberating standards and guidance for operating the vehicles in civil airspace of member states, starting in November.
Leslie Cary, who heads the group for ICAO, says the first step in November will be the publication of basic vehicle certification and pilot standards for remotely piloted vehicles. Along with minimizing hazards during operations, the standards will call for the aircraft and pilots to be certified and for aircraft operators to have special authorisation to fly in the civil airspace of each member state where they plan to fly.
She says guidance material detailing how to the gain the various elements of the approvals will be available in 2014.
Longer term, ICAO is planning to issue a series of progressively more liberal standards capped by a final package of all standards needed to support remotely piloted aircraft in all airspace and airports by 2028.
"We're trying to start with the fundamentals and work outwards from those," says Cary, a former air traffic controller for the US Federal Aviation Administration. "There's no point in working on those until we have airworthy approved aircraft and licensed pilots flying that remotely piloted aircraft."