Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

Remotely Piloted Aircraft (commonly known as drones) are a fast-growing sector in aviation, being used for both commercial and recreational purposes. Some commercial uses are directly useful for airport operations, for example aerodrome ground lighting inspections, and promise gains in efficiency.

On the other hand, the very rapid increase in recreational use of drones has created a new and significant hazard to aircraft operations in the vicinity of airports.

ACI along with IATA and other industry partners have highlighted concerns including safety, security, frequency spectrum, access to airspace, and regulation. We are working with key industry partners to develop coordinated positions under each area of concern.

To ensure the safe operation of an RPA, especially in close proximity to aircraft and airports, there is a need for:
  • Awareness and education of RPA operators.
  • States to ensure that all RPA operate within clearly defined and known limitations.
  • Enforceable legal and/or administrative sanctions for using RPA in an unsafe or dangerous manner.
In February 2016 a joint statement (pdf) was released by IFALPA, ACI and IATA to raise safety awareness among users of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Close Vicinity of Airports. 
Advisory bulletins
Drones, or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (26 July 2016) ⇓