Conference "the use of drones at the municipal level"
This morning we had the pleasure of attending the informative day "the use of drones at the municipal level", organized by the Spanish Association of Airlines (AECA) and Gesdron. The meeting has dealt with the different aspects of the integration of aerial operations with drones in urban areas as envisaged by the new Royal Decree 1036/2017 approved in December last year. According to the new law, drones are no longer prohibited from flying over agglomerations of buildings, but now they have to assume their role the local administrations both in regulating the use of public spaces of their competition and in the operation of RPAS from their Institutions for public interest services such as police surveillance, emergency response, territory planning, etc.
We have counted on the presence of several experts in the field, among them the president of AECA, and each one has contributed his point of view on the subject in his area. This is a summary of the points that we consider most important of the interventions:
Felipe Navio, President of AECA
The president has made a brief introduction giving some figures on the unmanned aviation sector, background and future. As a relevant figure in terms of the potential of the sector, it has estimated that in the next decade we will have an unmanned aviation participation in the total sector:
- 10% in the air transport of goods
- 80% in aerial work
- The transport of people with drones is already a reality and can go on increasing
As you can see are nothing despicable figures that represent a turnover of the order of billions, so that the expansion of the sector is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Antonio Mota, aeronautical engineer. General Manager of Airsolutions
Mr. Mota has told us about the most practical aspects of the operation of drones today. According to him, the three great stones on the path of unmanned aviation are:
The flight autonomy
We have been given a background on the work being done by several Spanish companies in these areas for years that position them in the global front. For example, the manufacture of drones with hybrid power technology, with combined explosion engine COM electric motors, or the use of a captive drone with cable feed for surveillance at the Mobile World Congres by the Mossos police. These technologies are aimed at overcoming one of the biggest limitations of RPAS's flight today: the autonomy of flight.
The radius of action
The vast majority of consumption drones communicate with the control stations in the 2.4 GHz band, an open band, which poses security risks and limits the range of action of drones by signal-to-link scope. In the next 2-3 years we will see how the control technology is developed by 5g, which will allow pilots to control unmanned aircraft virtually without limits of distance, as if it were a phone call.
Until now, the law in force established important limitations to the operation of drones. However, the RD 1036/2017 that comes into force now eliminates much of the restrictions, giving the RPAS sector the ability to compete with other aviation agents. In order to materialize these operations, air traffic control measures must be implemented, among others, and the U-Space system is already working in this direction.
In addition, this summer is expected to pass European legislation, which is already drafted in the document "Opinion 01/2018" and will introduce a new normative framework to which the European States should adapt within 2 years, with which the legislative changes Current have an expiration date. The European law will introduce 3 categories of operation, independent of the weight of the aircraft, and 4 kinds of drone according to their capacities, qualified or not for the different operatives.
The figure of the declared Training Organization is introduced, a less restrictive figure than the ATOs that can offer specific instruction for drones of the lower operating classes.
A new data protection law will also enter into force to which the RPAS operators must adapt.
Pablo Morera, aeronautical engineer. Director General Gesdron
Mr. Morera has told us about the important role of management of low-level unmanned aerial activity to be assumed by local administrations. For reasons of both security and regulation, the municipalities will take a role of special importance in the control of operations with drones that are carried out in their spaces, as they are the closest administrations and with more means than EFSA for the Control of drone operation. Although the competences on the airspace are only state, if they can regulate the use of their spaces in 2 concepts:
- The proprietary use of land for takeoffs and landings
- The occupation of public thoroughfare by safety zones which must be closed under the flight trajectories
In order to carry out these functions, fees will be taken to support the administrative structure necessary for the management of these aspects.
It is also foreseen that when being able to fly on urban nuclei, the municipalities begin to exert of operators to develop departments in their own organisms and to train their own personnel, or against cowardly the service hiring to operators companies Private. In any way, a range of uses of the drones for the administration will be opened that will be expected to begin. Urban and cadastral Control, security and heritage surveillance, data taking for environmental studies and a long etcetera are uses that different departments and police will have to cover with own or external means.
It has been a pleasure to hear all this information and much more from the hands of some of the experts in this area at the national level.