Wed, Jun 21, 2006
Aims To Make The Skies Safer For Flesh-And-Blood Pilots
At an International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) Exploratory Meeting on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAV) in Montreal recently, the International Council of Aircraft
Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) called for measures to make
UAVs compatible with existing air traffic, ensuring equivalent or
higher levels of safety.
"Integrating UAVs with manned aircraft creates significant risks
that can only be mitigated by strict certification and operational
standards designed to ensure safe operations," said Frank Hofmann,
IAOPA representative to ICAO.
Representatives from various states and the UAV industry, as
well as airspace users met at ICAO headquarters to discuss the role
of ICAO in establishing standards and recommended practices for
these new devices.
Major concerns raised by Hofmann at the meeting included the
- UAV certification standards must equal or exceed conventional
- The need for UAVs to reliably "see"-and-avoid manned aircraft
-- especially for the smaller, hard-to-see UAVs (like those already
in use in several municipalities);
- Airspace access must not be restricted to accommodate UAV
- Existing manned aircraft should not be required to add
equipment to assist with UAV compatibility -- especially as more
than 100,000 aircraft have no electrical system that would support
such a requirement.
IAOPA and a number of its affiliates
have previously stated their concerns and made recommendations
regarding UAV operations at both the international and state
IAOPA represents the interests of AOPA affiliates in 64
countries of the world, comprising more than 470,000 GA and aerial
work pilots and aircraft operators. The Council was formed in 1962
to provide a voice for general aviation (GA) in world aviation
GA encompasses four-fifths of all civil aircraft, and two-thirds
of all pilots worldwide.
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