The Drones Are Ready To Attack The Sky.

2021-01-30   |   by CusiGO

You can feel the sound of the rotor on our heads. In 2021, a European UAV regulation will be implemented to unify the continental airspace, followed by a royal decree to expand the operational area of these devices. It won’t be an immediate revolution, but both standards will help to restart a sector that is required to transform logistics, transportation and communications in the 21st century.

From 2023, in addition to its use in agriculture, surveillance, film or parcel industry, it can also be used as a taxi, which is undoubtedly the most forward-looking application. According to drone industry insights, the global drone market was $22.5 billion active last year. 38% came from Asia (China is the leading country in the industry), 30% from North America and 23% from Europe. The consultant believes that by 2025, the turnover will double and the relative weight of each region will remain unchanged.

Spain’s industry data did not show such a strong momentum. Currently, there are 5244 operators registered with AESA (National Aviation Safety Administration): 1009 operators increased in 2016, nearly 200 operators decreased in 2019, and only 519 operators registered in pandemic year. But the decline of professional operators is in sharp contrast to flight demand: according to enaire, Spanish aviation navigation manager, in 2020, the number of requests to operate in controlled and uncontrolled airspace increased by 172% compared with 2019, which clearly shows that there is a willingness to seize the sky. In addition, it is difficult to know Spain’s turnover, as there is only one estimate in the 2018 strategic plan, with an estimated impact of 1.22 billion and 1.52 billion by 2035 and 2050, respectively.

Reduce bureaucracy

New European regulations are expected to drive these figures. It divides the operation into three categories according to the risk and performance of UAV (whether entertainment or professional), and adjusts the restrictions according to the specific situation. It requires all operators to be registered, while relaxing the training required to fly low-risk flights and allowing flights in open categories without authorization from the European aviation safety agency or medical certification.

But the latest development is that it has shifted from the previous control system (so far, almost every professional flight must be authorized) to a more open system, in which a responsible statement is often enough. The aim is to enable the sector to reach its full potential while significantly reducing red tape. It remains the responsibility of Member States to regulate areas that can be flown.

In Spain, multiple restrictions prevent unauthorized drones from flying over the city. According to European regulations, the Ministry of transport is drafting a new royal decree that will, among other things, reduce the safe distance of airports and allow free flight in controlled air areas up to 60 meters.

At that moment, once the sky opens, will we see the drone cloud like a flock of starlings? The success of remote controlled aircraft will depend on two feedback conditions: economic impact and social integration. “The real revolution of Drones will come when they are as common as smartphones,” predicts Israel Quintanilla, a professor of drones at Valencia Polytechnic University. At present, driven by this commitment, three technology sub industries will try to take off in the new regulatory framework: air UAV, anti UAV system and unmanned aerial vehicle, or sea UAV.