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

EuroSDR (formerly OEEPE): Pan-European organization established by International Treaty, as OEEPE, in 1953 in Paris in accordance with a recommendation passed by the Council of the Organization by European Economic Cooperation. The spatial data research interests of European countries are represented through the membership in EuroSDR of national organizations from their production and research sectors. EuroSDR is a not for profit organization linking National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies with research institutes and universities in Europe for the purpose of applied research in spatial data provision, management and delivery. The result is a network of delegates, from European Geographic Information organizations and research institutes, effectively and practically addressing Europe's spatial data research requirements.


European Commission (EC): The executive body of the european Union responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and day-to-day running of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, pledging to respect the EU Treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate.



EC DG Mobility and Transport: The Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission responsible for transport within the EU. DG MOVE is responsible for developing and implementing European policies in the transport field. Its mission is to ensure that transport policies are designed for the benefit of all sectors of the society. DG MOVE carries out these tasks using legislative proposals and program management, including the financing of projects.


EC Joint Research Centre: The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is a Directorate-General of the EC under the responsibility of Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

As the Commission's in-house science service, the JRC's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle. Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools, and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community, and international partners.


European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA): The Agency promotes the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation in Europe and worldwide. It is the centerpiece of a new regulatory system which provides for a single European market in the aviation industry.

The agency's responsibilities include:

- expert advice to the EU for drafting new legislation

- implementing and monitoring safety rules, including inspections in the Member States

- type-certification of aircraft and components, as well as the approval of organizations involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical products

- authorization of third-country (non EU) operators

- safety analysis and research

FAQs on RPAS and Rules by Country and civil drones

Community info - RPAS

Rise of the Machines

Easy Access Rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Regulation (EU) 2019/947 and Regulation (EU) 2019/945)


EUROCONTROL: The European organization for the Safety of Air Navigation. Founded in 1960, it is an international organization working for seamless, pan-European air traffic management. Eurocontrol is a civil organization and currently has 40 member states. Its headquarters are in Haren, City of Brussels.

Eurocontrol coordinates and plans air traffic control for all of Europe. This involves working with national authorities, air navigation service providers, civil and military airspace users, airports, and other organizations. Its activities involve all gate-to-gate air navigation service operations: strategic and tactical flow management, controller training, regional control of airspace, safety-proofed technologies and procedures, and collection of air navigation charges.


European Space Agency (ESA): Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA is an international organization with 20 member states. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programs and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA's job is to draw up the European space program and carry it through. ESA's programs are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organizations outside Europe.


Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU): the SESAR program is one of the most ambitious research and development projects ever launched by the EU. The program is the technological and operational dimension of the single European Sky (SES) initiative to meet future capacity and air safety needs. Given the complexity of the program, a legal entity was founded by the EU and Eurocontrol, to coordinate and concentrate all relevant research and development efforts in the Community. The mission of the SESAR JU is to develop a modernized air traffic management system for Europe. This future system will ensure the safety and fluidity of air transport over the next 30 years, will make flying more environmentally friendly and reduce the costs of air traffic management.



Launch of SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking marks a new chapter in modernising European air traffic management

Digital European Sky Blueprint


June 2019 - 7 Things to Know About Europe’s New Drone Rules




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A-NPA 2015-10.pdf
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Eurocontrol Manual for Airspace Planning[...]
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On 8 October 2018, the European Commission published the Draft Implementing Regulation on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft + its Annex, as well as the Draft Delegated Regulation on unmanned aircraft intended for use in the ‘open’ category, and on third-country operators of unmanned aircraft systems + its Annex. 

The basic concepts included in the EASA Opinion have been maintained, but some clarifications have been introduced, e.g.:

- A clearer boundary between specific and  certified category;

- The level of information and requirements put on the drone manufacturers, the drone operators and the competent authorities have been increased including topics previously covered by AMC or GM;

- A few new requirements have been introduced (such as existing legal requirements related to the certified category or minimum age of the pilots). 

The principal modifications are:

- The scope of the Regulation includes all drones operations i.e.: open, specific and certified categoriesStandard scenario to be used under declaration are included in an appendix to the regulation (to be completed);

- The risk assessment and authorisation procedures in the specific category are detailed;

- The “safe distance” to be kept in the sub-categories of the open Category are specified;

- The range of C0 class drones are reduced to 120 m to reduce the possible privacy impact;

- Operations conducted in model aircraft clubs and associations remain under the national regulation;

- The transition and applicability periods have been extended.

In the delegated act, realistic but ambitious limitations regarding noise emissions have been added, and the use of electric power is made compulsory for drones in the open category. Some provisions aiming at protecting the citizens’ legitimate rights to privacy have also been introduced. 

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