ICAO has begun the consultative work needed to establish “harmonized” and “globally aligned” low-altitude traffic management guidance for domestic unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In October 2016, during ICAO’s 39th Assembly, world governments requested that it develop a practical regulatory framework for national UAS activities, in addition to the standards it was already developing for international operations.
“Many new proposals and innovations are emerging on a daily basis regarding unmanned aircraft and their operations at low altitudes,” said ICAO council president Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “ICAO is the natural agency to bring together the best and brightest from government and industry to define how these aircraft can be safely integrated into modern airspace, and in a way that optimizes their benefits globally for the wide range of public and private-sector operators.”
The organization says it recognizes that “an agreed global approach will greatly assist businesses and others in launching their UAS services with suitable levels of investment confidence and operational safety.” To this end, ICAO will convene its second “Drone Enable” in Chengdu, China, on September 13 and 14 to focus on the global coordination of UAS development activities, safe integration of UAS traffic management systems, and existing conventional air traffic management systems.