On 1 December 2016 the Council agreed on a general approach on revised common safety rules for civil aviation and a new mandate for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The draft regulation contains the first ever EU-wide rules for civil drones to fly safely in European airspace.
This 'EASA basic regulation' will allow the EU aviation sector to continue to develop safely in the future. It sets conditions under which the aviation industry can thrive and remain competitive and innovative in the global market. A reform of the rules is necessary to embrace the expected EU air traffic increase by 50% in the next 20 years and make aviation ready to face the tough global competition.
Arpád Érsek, the Slovak Minister for Transport, Construction and Regional Development, said: "Civil aviation reform is an important development for a competitive, innovative and future-resilient aviation industry. I welcome that the rules are proportionate to risks and that we allow aviation to embrace innovation and future developments, such as drones. And we allow for pooling and sharing of resources between member states, crucial for spreading expertise."