March 5, 2015 - On the occasion of the High Level Conference on civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems organised by the Latvian EU Presidency in Riga on 5-6 March 2015, the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Associations (ASD) welcomed the intention of the EU Commission to move forward with a joint European action plan to open the (civil) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) market.
“RPAS will be huge potential market of future aviation contributing to an estimated employment of 150 000 direct jobs in 2050, innovation and growth in Europe. In the future, many applications could be developed both in terms of fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft. Moreover, important technological spin offs could be created to improve efficiency and safety for manned aviation” said ASD Secretary General Jan Pie.
Speaking in the name of ASD, Mr Alberto Pietra, Business Development Director at Selex ES, delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the importance of making progress on the insertion of all categories of RPAS into controlled airspace without reducing safety and airspace capacity. Mr Pietra also drew the attention to the fact that Industry was prepared to play a leading role in terms of technology development provided that the right framework is put in place in terms of safety regulation and EU public funding for R&D. ASD in particular stressed the need for Industry to be fully involved in all safety rulemaking initiatives and the need to increase the amount of public funding for R&D beyond the funds currently allocated to SESAR 2020.