The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Advisory Group (UAS-AG), was established in 2015 to support the Secretariat in developing guidance material and expedite the development of provisions to be used by States to regulate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), with its industry and international partners, as well as the Member States. The UAS-AG has been instrumental in providing support to the global aviation safety collaboration.
The 39th ICAO Assembly, held from 27 September to 7 October 2016 requested that ICAO develop a global baseline of provisions and guidance material for the proper harmonization of regulations on UAS that remain outside of the international instrument flight rules (IFR) framework. This request was based on three factors: the need to maintain safety for manned aircraft; the desire for harmonization of domestic UAS regulations; and the need for assurance from the leading global aviation standards-making body that the best options for UAS operations were being considered and recommended. These efforts were further supported at ICAO's Second High-level Safety Conference (2018) and the 40th ICAO Assembly (2019).
In order to accomplish this tasking, the UAS‑AG began a second, larger phase of work (Phase II). The UAS-AG continues to serve as a technical body, working under the management of the ICAO Secretariat. It has reviewed and assessed submissions from States, industry and academia to ICAO's 2017, 2018 and 2019 Requests for Information (RFIs). Based upon the results of these assessments, ICAO invited those submitters that best addressed the various RFI problem statements to present their information to a global audience at DRONE ENABLE, ICAO's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Industry Symposia in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Assessment of the submissions for the most recent RFI is underway and selected submissions will be shared at DRONE ENABLE/2021, being held virtually on 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 April 2021.
The UAS-AG will continue supporting the ICAO Secretariat in guiding ICAO Member States by establishing a common global framework for, and core boundaries of, unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM), in order to allow further UTM developments to focus on better defined issues, whether technical, operational or legal.