New Model Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations to help countries set out globally-aligned civil UAS operations in domestic airspace

Montréal, 17 December 2020 – ICAO issued new model regulations this month to help countries establish and refine their national guidelines for domestic Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations.


The new model UAS guidance has been designed to provide flexibility in terms of both content and risk tolerance levels, helping to ensure consistency for regulators and operators as UAS technologies advance.


"Countries can choose to adopt the model regulations in their entirety, or else pick and choose from their provisions to supplement their existing national UAS frameworks," emphasized ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu.


Despite the aerospace industry evolving so quickly today, ICAO Air Navigation Bureau Director Stephen Creamer emphasized that the new Model UAS Regulations will still take advantage of the significant accumulated safety data and expanded principles of safety management that have been generated and improved upon in recent decades.


"This data, in conjunction with risk-based decision-making tools such as the model UAS regulations, will reinforce global harmonization and expand the opportunities for unmanned aviation throughout the world," he commented.


The ICAO Model UAS Regulations cover the essentials countries need in terms of UAS certification and safe operation, but specifically do not address sovereign local determinations concerning the penalties to be levied in response to local violations, privacy protection limits, insurance requirements, etc.


Available for download from the ICAO website, the model UAS regulations will be regularly updated to assure that as countries' UAS programmes evolve and expand, the economic and societal benefits that UAS deliver locally will expand along with them.


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A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created by governments in 1944 to support their diplomacy on international air transport matters. Since that time, countries have adopted over 12,000 standards and practices through ICAO which help to align their national regulations relevant to aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to be realized. ICAO forums also provide opportunities for advice and advocacy to be shared with government decision-makers by industry groups, civil society NGOs, and other officially-recognized air transport stakeholders.

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