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Defence Industry and Space

Unmanned aircraft


Unmanned Aircraft

Unmanned aircrafts

European safety rules for civil drones


Addressing risks to citizens’ privacy and personal data resulting from drone operations


  • European drones outlook study - unlocking the value for Europe

The SESAR joint undertaking conducted this study in order to assess the development of drones' operations drones within European skies.

full report (2017)

  • Demonstrating RPAS integration in the European aviation system

This report provides a summary of the results of the drone demonstration projects launched by SESAR JU in 2013.

full report (2016)

  • Study on techniques addressing security and privacy aspects of civil operations of drones in Europe

The purpose of this report, prepared by the JRC, is to provide an overview and an evaluation of techniques able to support 3 main functions needed in the design and deployment of drones in Europe. The 3 functions are transparency of drones’ operations, 4-D geofencing and minimisation of the collected data. The report provides recommendations on the most feasible technologies or gaps to be filled to support regulatory and standardisation activities for drone operations in Europe.

full report (2017) (3 MB)

  • Civil drones in society

To support the development of responsible and socially beneficial strategies for civil drones, the JRC has undertaken several initiatives. The study on the societal and ethics aspects of RPAS explores policy developments, consultations, and research projects in Europe and beyond. It also offers a critique of aspects of the development strategy, grounded in the concept of responsible research and innovation.

full report (2014)

  • Ethics dialogues

In a second initiative, the JRC investigated the benefits of engaging dialogues with citizens on the ethical dimensions of different new technologies including drones.

full report (2014)

  • ‘You wouldn’t have your granny using them’: Drawing boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable applications of civil drones

In this article, Philip Boucher reported the results of public engagement activities conducted by the JRC to explore citizens’ visions of civil drones. Several insights counteracted the prevalent assumptions. There is no blanket support for or opposition to civil drones. He found that citizens make nuanced decisions about the acceptability of civil drones depending upon the purpose of the flight and the actors involved. The results support calls to strengthen the role of citizens in civil drone development. In particular, to shift away from the current focus on citizens’ acceptance of civil drone development towards the development of civil drones that are acceptable to citizens.

full article (2015)

  • Third-party liability and insurance requirements of RPAS

Despite efforts undertaken to ensure the safety of RPAS operations, accidents may happen and victims need to be compensated for any injury or damage caused by the operation of an RPAS. This study investigates the efficiency of the existing regulatory framework and makes recommendations for improvements.

final report (2014) 

  • Data protection and ethical risks in civil RPAS operations

This study analyses the privacy, data protection and ethical risks posed by civil RPAS applications and makes recommendations to mitigate them.

final report (2014) 

executive summary for the industry 

proceedings from 1st workshop

proceedings from 2nd workshop