EU seeks sector input to create unified counter-drone capacities

EU counter-drone

The European Commission, the executive body of the 27-member European Union (EU), is soliciting input from various actors in the UAV sector to help formulate unified guidelines and identify effective counter-drone platforms to mitigate potential threats from small aircraft.

The European Commission’s directorate-general for Migration and Home Affairs issued an appeal for feedback from producers, operators, and related participants in the UAV industry to contribute their views on creating a Europe-wide counter-drone plan. The input is being received from March 6 to April 3 of this year, at which time those insights will be weighed against testing and other work already done by the EU and individual member states to prepare for eventual dangerous aerial activities or attacks.

The call for assistance notes that while the EU has regulated what it considers legitimate operation of UAVs, it has yet to establish specific rules or guidelines for counter-drone action in the event of unauthorized or criminal deployment of the craft. 

The objective of the outreach to sector experts is to gather the most up-to-date ideas on planning for and neutralizing those threats, using defensive programs and assets common to the entire EU.

“To protect society against malicious and non-cooperative drones, law enforcement and public and private operators must have lawful access to affordable and reliable counter-measure technologies that enable flexible solutions adapted to the threat level and operating situation,” the document soliciting feedback says. “There is also an important defense aspect in using counter-UAS systems. UAS have been increasingly used in several regional conflicts lately.”

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Though member states will remain responsible for determining what kinds of counter-drone plans, response rules, and technology they’ll use in preparing for and responding to threats from UAVs, the EU wants to create a robust common approach they may also rely on if they so choose. 

In addition to seeking input from national regulators, public safety and law enforcement agencies, related ministries, and state and private developers of UAVs, the appeal hopes to hear from as “many stakeholders that can be associated with or confronted by counter-drone measures, such as local authorities, civil aviation agencies, frequency regulators, transport officials, industry, commercial, and other drone users, model-plane hobbyists, and the general public.”

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