Airbus Defence & Space has launched the process of seeking civil certification for its Atlante unmanned air vehicle from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

In an 8 October announcement, Airbus says: “The company and EASA will work together to develop a certification process for this new type of product, based on the process normally used for manned aircraft.” This, it adds, “will set the standards for future UAV certifications in Europe”.

“The launch of the Atlante application will help EASA to secure a world-leading position in the establishment of the appropriate regulatory framework under which such systems will be designed, produced and maintained,” says Miguel Angel-Morell, head of engineering for Airbus’s Military Aircraft operating unit.

With a maximum take-off weight of 570kg (1,250lb) and a roughly 8m wingspan, the single-engined Atlante is being proposed for a variety of applications, such as infrastructure monitoring tasks and providing surveillance following natural disasters or during a forest fire. It can carry a payload of up to 100kg, and has a 10h-plus flight endurance.

Atlante UAS - Cassidian

Airbus Defence & Space

The tactical UAV is also being offered for military applications, with Airbus having recently promoted the type in Poland.

Meanwhile, Airbus has announced completing the debut flight of its second Atlante air vehicle.