Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS


This course was first offered at ERAU in Spring 2016 as an experimental course, entitled AS 395AA. Today the course is part of the BS in UA, entitled AS 324.

The students who took this first-of-its-kind course in the nation were all research assistants as well as test subjects. I shall be forever indebted to them! I mention their names in proud recognition and eternal gratitude. 

Hayden Akers, Muath Alhakami, Mohammed Alharbi, Bador Alhazmi, Husien Aljahdali, Abdulaziz (Aziz) Alruziza, Majed Alsafh, Jaffar Alsayadi, Ameen Alshangiti, Mohammed Alsigh, Josue Arriaza, Abdul-Rahman Basamh, Andrew Billson, Glenn (Oby) Borland, Ryan Cox, Tyler Green, Destiny Jackson, Melissa May, Michael Mendez, Adham Musawi, Brock Nelson, Jonghan Park, Brandon Pelato, Ben Salisbury, Waleed Samman, Holden Saunders, Makenna Stockham, Devin Taylor, Jon Thurman, Richard (Atlas) Vargas.

These are the learning outcomes for EACH Country or State in the US. 

1. Foundational Knowledge: Understand the different airspace unique to each country within which you are likely to operate the UAS once working in that industry.

2. Application: Make sound operational decisions based on the type of activities and limitations of your UAS and the rules within which you can operate.

3. Integration: Connect the various rules with the airspace of each country so as to perform legal and safe UAS operations.

4. Human Dimension: Interact professionally with others in the regulatory agencies regarding licenses, certifications, or permits necessary to fly your UAS.

5. Caring: Value the rules of each country by respecting the reasons for that country's implementation of said rules.

6. Learning how to learn: Identify all applicable important sources of information so that as the airspace and/or rules change over time, you can always access the most accurate, trustworthy, and current information.


The document below (spreadsheet) illustrates how the learning outcomes of AS 324 align with the degree as a whole and other metrics:

AS 324_alignment of learning outcomes.xl[...]
Microsoft Excel sheet [13.1 KB]


The document below (spreadsheet) is for you to use as a template when amassing your global portfolio:

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Portfolio_temp[...]
Microsoft Excel sheet [34.7 KB]

Here is a list of civil aviation authorities by country

Adobe Acrobat document [476.4 KB]
AS324 pre:post test.docx
Microsoft Word document [6.7 MB]











International Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO - Policy


ICAO, a special agency of the United Nations, promotes “the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, and regularity, as well as aviation environmental protection.”


The goal of ICAO in addressing uncrewed aviation is to provide the fundamental international regulatory framework to support routine operation of UAS throughout the world in a safe, harmonized, and seamless manner comparable to that of crewed operations.


Current ICAO guidance material for UAS is published in ICAO Circular 328, “UAS Circular,” which provides basic guidelines for Member States to introduce and integrate UAS into airspace in a consistent manner, to ensure global interoperability and regulatory compatibility, when possible.


The document’s guiding policy on UAS is:

“A number of Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) have adopted the policy that UAS must meet the equivalent levels of safety as crewed aircraft... In general, UAS should be operated in accordance with the rule governing the flight of crewed aircraft and meet equipment requirements applicable to the class of airspace within which they intend to operate...To safely integrate UAS in non-segregated airspace, the UAS must act and respond as crewed aircraft do. Air Traffic, Airspace and Airport standards should not be significantly changed. The UAS must be able to comply with existing provisions to the greatest extent possible.”


ICAO develops Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP), which are generally followed by national civil aviation authorities of the Member States. The United States is an ICAO Member State, and the FAA plans to harmonize with international efforts and adhere to ICAO SARPs when possible. 



The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).
ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.
In addition to its core work resolving consensus-driven international SARPs and policies among its Member States and industry, and among many other priorities and programmes, ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.
For a list of the 192 Member States of ICAO please download the file below
Member States.English (new).pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [48.8 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.8 MB]
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June 11, 2019 - EASA publishes final rule


On 5 May 2017 EASA published the Notice of Proposed Amendment 2017-05 (A).
And on 12 May 2017 EASA published the Notice of Proposed Amendment 2017-05 (B). 
Both of these documents introduce a regulatory framework for the operation of civil drones and pertain to UAS operations in the “open” and “specific” category.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Basic Regulation’), the regulation of UAS with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 150 kg falls within the competence of the European Union (EU) Member States. 
This leads to a fragmented regulatory system hampering the development of a single EU market for UAS and cross-border UAS operations.

A new proposed Basic Regulation (hereinafter referred to as ‘the new Basic Regulation’), currently under discussion between the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament, aims to solve this issue, by extending the competence of the EU to regulate all UAS regardless of their MTOM. 
In view of the adoption of this new Basic Regulation, the objective of NPAs is to: 
l Ensure an operation-centric, proportionate, risk- and performance-based regulatory framework for all UAS operations conducted in the open and specific category; 
l Ensure a high and uniform level of safety for UAS; 
l Foster the development of the UAS market; and 
l Contribute to enhancing privacy, data protection, and security.

These NPAs proposes to create a new regulation (hereinafter referred to as ‘Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX’) defining the measures to mitigate the risk of operations in: 
l The open category through a combination of limitations, operational rules, requirements for the competence of the remote pilot, as well as technical requirements for the UAS; and 
l The specific category through a system including a risk assessment conducted by the operator before starting an operation, or the operator complying with a standard scenario, or the operator holding a certificate with privileges.

Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX will provide flexibility to Member States, mainly by allowing them to create zones on their territory where the use of UAS would be prohibited, limited or on the contrary facilitated. 
Pursuant to new Basic Regulation, market product legislation (CE marking) ensures compliance with the technical requirements for mass-produced UAS operated in the open category.
A dedicated Annex (Part-MRK) to Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX is proposed to define the conditions for making UAS available on the market. 
Regulation (EU) 201X/XXX is expected to increase the level of safety of UAS operations, harmonise legislation among the EU Member States, as well as create an EU market that will reduce the cost of the UAS and allow cross-border operations.

The stakeholders that will be affected by this regulation are: Operators (private & commercial), competent authorities, Member States, flight crews, remote pilots, maintenance staff, UAS manufacturers, other airspace users (crewed aircraft), service providers air traffic management (ATM/air navigation services (ANS) and other ATM network functions, air traffic services (ATS) personnel, aerodromes, the general public, model aircraft associations.

Downloads below

Adobe Acrobat document [1.8 MB]
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RTCA, Inc. (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) is a private, not-for-profit corporation that develops consensus-based recommendations regarding communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management system issues. RTCA functions as a Federal Advisory Committee, and the FAA considers RTCA recommendations when making policy, program, and regulatory decisions. RTCA Special Committee 203 (SC-203) (SC-203 is cancelled and now SC-228 is in effect) was established in 2004 to help assure the safe, efficient, and compatible operation of UAS with other aircraft operating within the NAS. This Special Committee has developed and documented guiding principles for UAS integration, which are summarized below:

- UAS must operate safely, efficiently, and compatibly with service providers and other users of the NAS so that overall safety is not degraded;

- UAS will have access to the NAS, provided they have appropriate equipage and the ability to meet the requirements for flying in various classes of airspace;

- Routine UAS operations will not require the creation of new special use airspace, or modification of existing special use airspace;

- Except for some special cases, such as small UAS (sUAS) with very limited operational range, all UAS will require design and airworthiness certification to fly civil operations in the NAS;

- UAS pilots will require certification, though some of the requirements may differ from crewed aviation;

- UAS will comply with ATC instructions, clearances, and procedures when receiving air traffic services;

- UAS pilots (the pilot-in-command) will always have responsibility for the UA while it is operating;

- And UAS commercial operations will need to apply the operational control concept as appropriate for the type of operation, but with different functions applicable to UAS operations.

Through an FAA-established UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), the FAA continues to collaborate with government and industry stakeholders for recommendations regarding the path toward integration of UAS into the NAS. This effort will harmonize with the work being done by international organizations working toward a universal goal of safe and efficient UAS airspace operations. 


EUROCAE:The European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment is a non-profit organization dedicated to aviation standardization since 1963. The organization is composed of member, which are specialized in one or several technical fields of aeronautics, and many of them are considered to be among the world's leaders in their domain. Members include equipment and airframe manufacturers, regulators, European and International civil aviation authorities, air navigation service provider (ANSP), and airports.


United Nations Considering Global Drone Guidelines

Two-day event will address possible regulations in the growing market.



Adobe Acrobat document [427.1 KB]

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