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April 09, 2019

AESA recognised for pioneering efforts to make EGNSS use in drones a reality

AESA (Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea/ State Agency for Aviation Security) has taken on board the use of EGNOS and Galileo in drones.

The Spanish civil aviation authority has pushed for the use of EGNOS in drone operations at national level. The new Spanish regulation on drone operations (Real Decreto 1036/2017) describes the systems and measures that operators need to put in place to ensure safety. AESA, in their position as a regulatory supervisor, has published guidance material that explains the requirements to be met by these systems. In particular, the regulation proposes EGNOS as a suitable sensor to enable the pilot to know the position of the drone during the flight, also in operations with medium and high risk and including flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

National level experience for the benefit of Europe

Notably, all of these documents are produced in both English and Spanish, and as one of the only Member States to make all of the documentation public and in English, the Spanish authorities and AESA are ensuring the accessibility of these national advances. “By making this documentation public, and in English, we hope that our national advances towards the use of Galileo and EGNOS can serve as an inspiration to other Member States,” said Juan Jose Sola from AESA.

Building on this experience, the newly created group EUROCAE WG-105 SG-62 "GNSS for UAS" is developing guidelines to use GNSS for Unmanned Aerial Systems to ensure safe operations. The group is chaired by the H2020 GAUSS project, funded by GSA and coordinated by Everis Aeroespacial y Defensa.

It is the first time that AESA has been recognised for such an award and demonstrates that work towards the use of Galileo and EGNOS in drones should continue and grow. The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is currently working to expand upon this work and is collaborating with EUROCAE (The European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment) to develop the guidelines for using GNSS to meet SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) requirements.

About AESA

AESA is the Spanish state body that ensures the observation and implementation of civil aviation standards. The body works across different segments and competencies in the aviation sphere, including Air Transport, Aviation Safety, Air Navigation and Airport Security.

About SORA

Specific Operation Risk Assessment (SORA) exists to perform multi-stage risk analysis of certain unmanned aircraft operations. The SORA requirements also help to define mitigations and robustness levels. For more information read the SORA paper from JARUS (Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems).

Source: GSA