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Drones – new flight categories. The government has adopted the draft amendment to the Aviation Law

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On Tuesday, the government adopted a draft amendment to the Aviation Law. The amendment is intended to adapt Polish regulations to EU regulations in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e. drones. The draft law will now be submitted to the Sejm for work.

It is about a draft act amending the Aviation Law Act and some other acts, prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure. The Government Information Center (CIR) informed that the draft adapts Polish law to the European Union regulations on unmanned aerial vehicles.

“It is also about increasing the level of security in civil aviation by adopting solutions that will make it possible to prevent unlawful operations with the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle system” – we read in the communiqué.

“The new solutions are to enter into force 14 days after the announcement in the Journal of Laws, with the exception of some provisions that will come into force at a different date” – added.

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A new division of unmanned aerial vehicle flights

CIR indicated that the project provides for a change in the current division of unmanned aerial vehicle operations. Currently, there is a division into sports, recreational and commercial operations. After the entry into force of the new regulations, three new categories are to appear:

  • “open” operation
  • “special” operation
  • certified operation.

As explained, this division results from EU regulations and was made on the basis of a risk analysis of air operations.

“The ‘open’ category will be intended for operations performed in visual visibility (VLOS) conditions with the lowest risk. Low risk will be ensured thanks to clear guidelines specifying, among others, the permissible take-off weights of unmanned aerial vehicles, their equipment, flight speeds, maximum energy kinetic impact and the distance from individuals and groups of people.

It was added that in the “special” category, operations will be strictly defined and will be able to be performed on the basis of a permit issued by the President of the Civil Aviation Authority.

In turn, the “certified” operation is to be “the highest category of admission to flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle. In order to perform operations in this category, it will be necessary to obtain an entry in the register of civil aircraft.”

Geographical zones in airspace

The new regulations also introduce the possibility of designating geographical zones in the airspace that may limit or exclude operations with the use of unmanned aerial vehicle systems. The purpose of this solution is to eliminate threats related to security, privacy, personal data protection or environmental protection, which result from the performance of operations by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Determination of geographical zones will be entrusted to the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency.

In addition, the amendment is to enable the President of the Civil Aviation Office and PANSA to perform their tasks in digital form, using an ICT system.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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