News Item

Airservices launches operational concept for remotely piloted aircraft systems

7 Jun 2016

Airservices has published its operational concept for the safe and efficient management of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) within the controlled airspace environment.

The document, Management of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in ATM operations – Operational concept, was officially launched by Senior Advisor, Safety Programs, Mark Rossiter at 1 June’s CivSec 2016 conference in Melbourne.

The operational concept details Airservices approach to the management of RPAS and forms the basis for current and future developments.

“Airservices is committed to facilitating the safe and successful entry of unmanned aerial systems into controlled airspace in a staged process that integrates with manned operations,” said Mr Rossiter.

“The task of facilitating and ultimately integrating RPAS operations into a pre-existent conventionally-piloted aviation system is recognised as a significant global challenge. Not all key technologies required for RPAS to fly in civil airspace are mature or standardised yet, but by necessity the integration of RPAS will be gradual, proportionate and evolutionary.”

Their introduction of RPAS into the controlled airspace environment presents challenges and opportunities as air navigation service providers around the world adapt their systems and processes to align with this rapidly evolving technology.

“Airservices recognises the need to take an inclusive approach to RPAS,” said Mr Rossiter. “We are taking a leading role in the development of an operational framework to accommodate RPAS operations in Australia’s controlled airspace.”