Next week we will hold the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) event at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal. This important event, which is taking place from 7 to 9 November 2022, will bring together key stakeholders from civil aviation authorities, academia, industry, government agencies and special interest groups.
The theme for 2022 is, ” To Certify or Not to Certify?”, the focus will be on technology, operation and certification of RPAS. Participants will have the perfect opportunity to learn about the regulatory framework that is being developed and how it will be implemented by experts actively involved in the work. There will be networking opportunities to engage with presenters and the global audience.
Below we are highlighting some of the sessions that will be discussed during the three-day RPAS – Unmanned Aviation event. In the week that follows, we will be hosting another event, Drone Enable 2022 that will focus on umanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM).
Are you ready to operate RPAS internationally?
As States’ are challenged with how to successfully incorporate RPAS into their existing air traffic management system, this session will discuss the framework and rules for international operation of RPAS. Attendees will come away with a better understating of the proposed Annex 6, Part IV which deals specifically with international RPAS operations. They will also hear how RPAS are being operated around the world, and what improvements can be made to facilitate the transition from exceptions requiring special handling to routine operations. Additionally, in order to facilitate future implementation efforts, this session will explore several RPAS unique requirements, such that States and industry will gain a better understanding of the rationale behind the new provisions.
Critical systems for RPAS operations: updates on C2 link and detect and avoid
Communications and separation capabilities are essential for routine airspace access. Speakers in this session will provide an overview of C2 Link and detect and avoid (DAA) as well as their role in supporting safe and secure RPAS operations. This will be a two-part session with experts in the fields of both C2 Link and DAA providing details on the existing and proposed Standards for Annex 10.
Certifying RPAS and their components
Aircraft certification is critical for access in the conventional aviation system. This session will look at the approach to certification contained in Annex 8 with a focus on how to address the key components of the RPAS system, namely the remotely piloted aircraft, remote pilot station, and C2 Link. Airworthiness experts from States and industry will discuss the major components of an RPAS system, and how they intend to certify them.
Why certify, for what purpose, and to what standards?
This session discusses the underlying purpose and principles regarding certification and how they translate into State certification processes. Annex 8 provisions are designed to fit aircraft into the existing system. However, new aircraft conducting new types of operations in new pieces of airspace, will require new certification solutions. This session will touch on levels of certification needed to provide appropriate airspace access.
Fit-for-purpose airworthiness certification for (smaller) non-IFR RPAS
International aircraft operations require the carriage of a certificate of airworthiness. The current Annex 8 Standards are for those RPA intended to operate predominantly in accordance with instrument flight rules. However, this approach may not adequately address the majority of beyond visual line-of-sight operations conducted internationally. This session will address the issues that need to be resolved for cross-border operations with fit-for-purpose certification requirements in the near-term and how these can be evolved into a global solution.
Certification of “flying taxis” in the advanced air mobility context – where are we?
Several aircraft manufacturers are progressing through the regulatory certification processes for passengercarrying advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft – with or without a pilot on board. This panel of world leaders in the field of AAM will discuss the various certification processes being pursued.
Automation to autonomy; what is the path to certification?
As remotely piloted operations become increasingly automated, what level of automation will States and regulators be comfortable with? As aircraft systems evolve from human-centric to automation-centric decision-making, the certification of automation becomes necessary. What measures must be put in place to ensure the safe operation of a highly automated or autonomous aircraft? The panellists will address the safety, security and efficiency concerns regarding the certification of automation.
Vertiports: where are we?
What is a vertiport and how does it differ from a traditional airport/heliport? This session will look at the current vertiport concepts and environments. Challenges surrounding airspace limitations, infrastructure requirements and governance, as well as intermodal access will be discussed in order to provide States with a better understanding of how these issues can be addressed. A part of the discussion will focus on the economics of vertiports and how they will be funded – crucial to technical development as well as urban planning.
RPAS-related standards development activities
This session will provide an overview of the RPAS-related technical standards, whether under development or already published, by other standards developing organizations (SDOs). How will these standards apply to certification efforts, and how can they be utilized by CAAs/States and industry? SDOs will share their completed and ongoing efforts as well as their insights and methodologies in developing RPAS-related material.
Contributions of the aviation research community to ICAO’s work
This session will discuss how the research community is supporting ICAO’s work. The International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) will present its Urban Air Mobility Scientific Assessment, containing an independent assessment of upcoming innovations by the aviation research community. The information contained in the IFAR assessment will inform ICAO’s decision-making process related to the introduction of innovations into the aviation regulatory framework.