> our title:

Europe Looks at Civil RPAs, UAVs

> original title:

Towards A European Strategy for the Development of Civil Applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

(Source: Council of the European Union; dated Sept. 6, 2012)

"This document is a working document of the services of the European Commission published for information. It does not represent an official position of the Commission on this matter, nor prejudge it."


The emergence of civil applications of RPAS, a source of growth and jobs In these times of economic downturn, Europe needs more than ever to identify and support, in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy, opportunities to boost industrial competitiveness, promote entrepreneurship and create new businesses in order to generate growth and jobs.

The emerging technology of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems1(RPAS) applied to the development of civil aerial applications (commercial, corporate or governmental non-military) can contribute to these objectives. However, to fully exploit the potential of this technology it is necessary to develop and implement operational concepts and associated technical enablers as well as specific rules for RPAS operations in non-segregated airspace.

The development of RPAS started in the 50's. RPAS have been used by armed forces for decades. Recent conflicts and peace-keeping operations around the world have demonstrated their operational capacities and led to a quasi-exponential increase of military applications.

RPAS have also a great potential for civil applications. These applications are starting to develop, driven by both state and commercial interests. If their full potential is unleashed, they are expected to bring important benefits to European citizens and the European economy as a whole.

Click here for the full document (30 PDF pages) on the European Council website.