The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
- The MoU is for cooperation in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Innovative Air Mobility.
- This MoU will facilitate collaboration on unmanned aircraft and innovative air mobility between the two civil aviation authorities.
About the Collaboration on Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Innovative Air Mobility
- This memorandum of understanding (MoU) will facilitate collaboration on unmanned aircraft and innovative air mobility between the two civil aviation
- Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV): it is commonly known, as a drone. It is an aircraft without any human pilot, crew, or passengers on board.
- Innovative air mobility (IAM): The concept of innovative air mobility (IAM) accommodates commercial and non-commercial operations with novel aircraft designs that do not automatically fall under one of the known categories of aero planes or helicopters. They may have the capability to vertically takeoff and land, have specific (distributed) propulsion features, may be operated in unmanned configuration, etc.
- This collaboration would include cooperation between DGCA and EASA in the areas of development of certification standards and environmental standards and related requirements for the certification and use of unmanned aircraft systems and innovative air mobility operations which includes licensing of personnel, training, air traffic management and infrastructure, including Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) standards and services.
- The MoU will also ensure regular information sharing between the two authorities on the technological developments and research in this area and their respective strategies for outreach to relevant stakeholders.
- Further, the MoU will result in collaboration in conducting conferences, workshops, and training programs by DGCA and EASA in this area.
About Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the regulatory body in the field of Civil Aviation primarily dealing with safety issues.
- It is a statutory body of the Indian Central Government under the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- Objectives: to regulate civil aviation in India.
- Ministry: Ministry for Civil Aviation.
- HQ: New Delhi.
- It has regional offices in various parts of India.
Functions of DGCA
- It investigates aviation accidents and incidents.
- It maintains all regulations related to aviation.
- It is responsible for the issuance of licenses.
- It is responsible for the regulation of air transport services to/from/within India.
- It is responsible for the enforcement of civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards.
- It also coordinates all regulatory functions with International Civil Aviation Organization.
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
- EASA is an Agency of the European Union (EU).
- EU: international organization comprising 27 European countries.
- It develops common safety and environmental rules at the European level.
- Objective: to promote the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation.
- Established: 4 July 2018.
- HQ: Cologne, Germany.
- It is headed by an Executive Director.
- A Management Board, representing EU Member States and the European Commission, oversees the work of the Agency.
- It is a body governed by European public law.
- It is distinct from the Community Institutions (Council, Parliament, Commission, etc.) and has its own legal personality.
- Exclusion: EASA’s remit does not encompass questions related to civil aviation security e.g. airport security measures, counter-terrorism.
FAQs about Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Innovative Air Mobility
A1: The MoU is a cooperation agreement between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for collaboration on unmanned aircraft systems and innovative air mobility.
A2: Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, are aircraft without any human pilot, crew, or passengers on board. They are operated remotely or autonomously.
A3: Innovative air mobility refers to the concept of commercial and non-commercial operations with novel aircraft designs that do not fit into traditional categories like airplanes or helicopters. These aircraft may have unique features such as vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, distributed propulsion systems, and the ability to operate in unmanned configurations.
A4: The MoU facilitates collaboration between DGCA and EASA in the development of certification and environmental standards for unmanned aircraft systems and innovative air mobility operations. It also includes cooperation in licensing of personnel, training, air traffic management, infrastructure, and sharing of technological developments and research.
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