Thursday, June 20, 2024

EASA issues first approval for defined drone operations to Volocopter

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued the first certificate in a new scheme under which drone manufacturers or operators can request the Agency’s design verification for a drone to be used for a particular purpose. The first such certificate was awarded to Volocopter for its VC200-2.

A design verification report approves a drone for a particular type of usage, meaning that any European operator may apply to the national aviation authority for an operational authorisation in the specific category to conduct that activity with such drone, without the need for further additional verification from EASA. This process was outlined in EASA guidelines for the design verification of drones published on April 8, 2021.

Volocopter applied on May 31, 2021 for the design verification of its enhanced containment function for the VC200-2. With the certificate, the drone can now be operated in a clearly delimited low-risk area, even if this zone is located close to an area where drone operations are at higher risk, such as a city or sports stadium.

“The short time needed to issue the design verification report demonstrates that EASA is able to develop flexible tools that are adapted to the risk of the drone operation and to the needs of the market,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said.  “In the medium term this will be a winning concept for our stakeholders as it is efficient for all parties. We expect to process a large number of applications for design verification in the coming months.”

The design verification reports issued will be published on the EASA website to enable operators who are intending to conduct drone operations in Europe to check the list and select an EASA-verified drone for their specific purpose.

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