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The Sky Is A Limit

The growing interest in using pilotless drone aircraft is bringing new regulatory challenges, writes Leonidas Kanellos.

The Sky Is A Limit

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Drones, also referred to as remotely piloted aviation systems, are usually employed by military services but increasingly in a number of commercial and civil applications.


Types of drones

There are two types of drones:

  • Remotely piloted aviation systems (RPAS), where the aircraft is controlled by a human pilot from a distant location, these being the only types of drones that can be authorised currently for use in European Union (EU) airspace
  • Unmanned drones, which are automatically programmed without being piloted, even remotely, and which are not yet authorised for use, neither by ICAO nor under EU rules.

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