Welcome to “Report from the Chair” a weekly up-date for ARPAS-UK members from the Chair, Perran Bonner. Each week Perran will be keeping members informed on what has crossed the Chairs’ virtual desk, along with other committee matters.
14th August 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Preparing for regulatory change.
Do the changes affect you?
The ARPAS team and I spent much time last week in preparation for the forthcoming regulatory changes which will affect us all. You can have an impact on those changes in three ways. I would strongly recommend you respond on all three:
- Read and feed back on the ARPAS-UK response on the EASA consultation.
- Respond directly to EASA – ARPAS will provide text you can use.
- Many of you completed the recent ARPAS questionnaire, already helping us formulate our response. Please also complete UVSI’s questionnaire which will be submitted directly to EASA to support the drone operators’ position.
Timetable for Consultation on the EASA NPA
The final deadline for responses to the EASA consultation is on 15th September, and we have now announced our timetable. The first draft of the response will be published on 24th August, and members’ comments will be accepted up until 31st August. Read more HERE
How to Respond Directly to EASA
In order to make a formal response, you will need to register with EASA to use their online response process, so please register in good time and familiarise yourself with the process. The ARPAS team will be recommending key comments to make, and these will be published on 24th August. Read more HERE
What is UVSI’s Questionnaire, and How to Respond
ARPAS-UK is a corporate member of UVSI, an association representing all the drone trade associations in Europe and the UK, and which is influential in Europe and further field. UVSI is conducting a survey for drone operators to ensure EASA bases its rule-making on first-hand data. The UVSI questionnaire is open until 15th September. Read more HERE
If you’re flying during the next week, then please make sure you Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
7th August 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Members’ Deals and Inputs
You may have seen our recent announcement that we have invited past members of UAVS to join ARPAS-UK https://www.arpas.uk/forum/general-matters/uavs-to-close-arpas-uk-to-support-its-members/ . Last week we began the process of welcoming our new members on board from UAVS. I’m delighted that a number of them have experience of European regulatory issues, and have already started to help ARPAS in that area. We’ll be bringing you more updates soon.
Members’ Deals and Discounts
ARPAS-UK is constantly looking for the opportunity to enter into agreements with suppliers to provide useful discounts and deals for members. I’ve been discussing a new deal for members which I brought to an agreement last week, and I’m aiming to announce in the next few days. To make our deals and discounts easier for members to access, we’re also currently working on providing a continually updated list which will be easy for members to access – coming shortly.
Publication of Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) by JARUS
Last week JARUS published a document recommending a risk assessment methodology to establish a sufficient level of confidence that a specific operation can be conducted safely. Do read the document if you can, it could have significance for future operations https://www.arpas.uk/specific-operations-risk-assessment-sora-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems-uas/
With weather windows looking to potentially improve during next week and if you’re flying, then please Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
31st July 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Planning Ahead
Most of my time last week in ARPAS-UK concerned looking ahead and planning not just for the next few months, but also looking ahead for next year.
July Committee Meeting
Last Monday brought our 6th meeting of this term of the Committee – already half way through. As a Committee we feel we have made significant strides, particularly on our regulatory and government liaison and in our communications processes and will be reporting 6-monthly progress shortly. Minutes of the meeting will be available as usual on the Technical Forum.
Drone Industry Action Group
Also last Monday was one of the regular meetings of the Government-supported Drone IAG, with co-ordinated by BEIS. ARPAS-UK is taking one of the lead positions on future standards development, which is endorsed by the Drone IAG and in the Government response to “Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK”. Read the response here: https://www.arpas.uk/arpas-uk-supports-the-safe-use-of-drones-in-the-uk/
Exploring AIRSTART 2
Most of you will be aware of the AIRSTART grant-aided project supporting the development of BVLOS technology and professionalism in the industry. We are now looking ahead to explore opportunities for an AIRSTART 2 initiative next year. We recently attended a preliminary meeting with the Aerospace Technology Institute to understand potential options. Read more about AIRSTART here: https://www.arpas.uk/forum/airstart/airstart-updates/#p472
As ever, take care this week, and make sure you Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
24th July 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Recognition of our Association
A common theme of last week’s events was the extent to which ARPAS-UK is recognised as a significant player and is able to influence forthcoming changes in the UK and Europe. I would like to thank all of you, our members, and our Directors in contributing to this recognition and level of influence we now have in the industry.
Publication of the Government response to “Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK”.
The highlight of last week was surely Saturday’s publication of the Government response to “Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK”. The work of ARPAS-UK was publicly recognised and demonstrated by the report carrying references and a link to the ARPAS-UK website. Much of the ARPAS-UK’s responses were included in the report. Read more:
ARPAS-UK Design Thinking Workshop on CPD
On Wednesday 18th July, ARPAS-UK Directors embarked on the next steps on CPD with a Design Thinking workshop. Read more..
Achieving Scalable & Sustainable UAS Operations – Digital Catapult
On 18th and 19th July we were, as invitees, one of only 3 speakers introducing a national workshop in London exploring Unmanned Traffic Management and the shape of UAS Operations for the future. The one and a half day workshop was well-attended by ARPAS-UK members. Read more..
If any of you are able to get away on holiday with the school vacation starting, then do have a good break. If, however, you are busy in our high season, then please continue to Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
For 17th July 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Strategic Alliances
A very eventful week for ARPAS-UK. You’ll have all received Dylan’s monthly Newsletter on Friday 14th July, so I hope many of you will have been reading some of our recent news. Here’s my round-up for last week:
DJI Joins ARPAS-UK
My most exciting news for last week is that I am delighted to welcome DJI as one of ARPAS-UK’s newest members. We welcome organisations and individuals working in every aspect of the drone industry, from manufacturing and distribution to operations, training and consultancy. We strongly believe that, with DJI as an active member, we will be able to help fulfil the needs of all our members.
We’ll have more news in a similar vein coming soon, so keep an eye on our updates.
On Thursday I was interviewed by the BBC for multiple programmes, including BBC South and Look East. The topics included safety and illegal operators, which I know are topics of significant concern to many members. I was joined by one of our ARPAS-UK members, Essex Police, to specifically address illegal operations. I am pleased a balanced approach to these issues are getting air time through the BBC, and I’ll post a link to the interview when available.
UVS International Survey on Drone Operations
You may have seen an email from Matt Lee, our Standards Director, last week. UVS International, of which ARPAS-UK is a member, is surveying UAS/RPAS/Drone Operators on an international basis and will be feeding back on an international scale to Civil Aviation Authorities, EASA and many other organisations. While some of the questions are very similar to the recent EASA Workshop poll, from the great response we had, it is clear that you, our members, want to be engaged with discussions that will have an effect on you, so I would urge you to complete the survey if you have a few minutes available. HERE
More to tell you about over the coming weeks, we continue to be very busy in our engagement with the industry, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
10th July 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Joining In and Joining Up
On 5th July last week, Paul Shelley, the ARPAS-UK Education and Safety Director, attended an EASA workshop and presentation of EASA’s Drone rules proposal in Cologne. We’ve been bringing you news of this event, which could have significant impact for future regulation. Paul will be bringing you more details of what happened, and we hope that some of you took the opportunity to join the live streaming (WATCH HERE). We’ll also be publishing results of the EASA poll to members shortly too.
Don’t Miss ARPAS News Stories
Thanks largely to the sterling work of our PR and Marketing Director, Dylan Baldwin, ARPAS-UK brings you regular updates and news stories through a whole range of social media channels. Join our LinkedIn group, for news, updates and discussion, LINKEDIN. Check out our website news page for the latest from ARPAS-UK and the wider industry , and look out for the monthly Newsletter hitting your mailboxes on the 14th July. And of course, don’t forget my weekly blog!
Have a good week, all, and whatever you’re doing, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
3rd July 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Drone Communities
Last week in ARPAS-UK had a flavour of different drone communities coming together. This included all of us in ARPAS-UK, the SAR community and of course the European community, which will be a continuing theme.
SAR and ES in ARPAS-UK
ARPAS-UK is committed to social and humanitarian benefits of drones. As a result we have always supported Emergency Services (ES) and Search & Rescue (SAR) applications for drones and we have many ES member organisations. I was therefore delighted to see that the work RNLI has led on the role of new technologies, including drones, in SAR has now come to fruition. The report to which ARPAS-UK and its AIRSTART partners have contributed, can be found HERE.
Your Input to the EASA Consultation on New Regulations
The highlight of last week for me was my first sight of the results of the recent members’ poll, which closed on Wednesday 28th June. While there hasn’t been time as yet to analyse the results, we had a staggering return of 156 responses, around a third of member organisations, which will enable us to accurately represent the views of members in our discussions and feedback to EASA and CAA. Further information can be found HERE. I’d like to personally thank all members who completed poll, helping your Committee to represent our drone community better.
Last Monday your committee met for its monthly meeting, to review progress against its Milestones and other matters. We discussed final arrangements for membership cards, which many of you have told us you wanted, and these will be sent to all members later this year. Minutes of the meeting will be available on the Technical Forum as usual. Minutes of the May meeting can be found HERE.
Your Committee is set for another busy time next week, as I’m sure you all are, so let’s make sure that we all Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
26th June 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Consultations and Contacts
Last week I talked about the EASA proposed European Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft (Drones), and this has been to topic of ongoing debate on our discussion Fora. Both ARPAS and CAA has stressed the importance for as many members as possible to respond individually to the consultation, as these regulatory changes will affect all of us, either directly or indirectly. The relevant Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) can be found HERE
Please note that the deadline for response has been extended by 1 month to 15th September 2017. A number of you have commented on the complexity of the NPA and therefore the difficulty in responding. ARPAS-UK will be providing a corporate response, and will publish a template for members to submit if you so wish, or to use as the basis for your own responses. Given the extended deadline, ARPAS will publish a template for members by 31st August 2017.
As part of the consultation process, I explained last week that ARPAS will be attending an EASA invitation-only workshop in Cologne on 5th July. In order to gather information to represent members as fully as possible, both at the workshop and in the consultation response, ARPAS-UK launched a members’ poll this week, which members should have received by direct email. I would like to personally thank all of you who have responded so far. If you haven’t responded as yet, please take the short time needed to complete the poll by Wednesday 28th June so that we can represent your needs better. Please contact email@example.com if you haven’t received the poll by email.
A number of you have indicated that you would like to provide us with additional information. As a result, we have set up a thread on the Technical Forum for you to post further views: HERE
Events and Contacts
Closer to home last week, ARPAS-UK was invited by AOA, http://www.aoa.org.uk/ , to present at their annual Operations and Safety Conference to help raise awareness with airport operators about the growth and nature of the drone industry, and also to inform then about ARPAS-UK. In many ways AOA has a parallel structure and remit to ARPAS-UK, and with changing regulations, the development of UTM and the growth of the industry, it was an ideal time to make contact and strengthen relationships with airport operators. Sue Wolfe, the ARPAS Business Development Director, presented on behalf of ARPAS. The event was extremely worthwhile and has afforded some excellent contacts to work with in the future, not least AOA itself. The full conference report and ARPAS-UK presentation can be found HERE.
Have a successful week, everyone, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
19th June 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – People Power
Last week in ARPAS-UK held many excellent examples of how working together lends power to our elbow in many different ways.
Our corporate membership of and relationship with Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (UVSI) is beginning to pay dividends in terms of our profile and influence. UVSI is a trade association of trade associations – mainly in Europe.
As a result, it has a much more significant influence at the European regulatory table than any single trade association could have, especially one whose country is in the throes of Brexit. You might have seen last week that ARPAS will be attending the invitation-only EASA workshop in Cologne on 5th July to discuss EASA’s proposed European Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft (Drones). We’ll be sitting at the table with 10 or more other European trade associations representing a total, I would guess, of more than 1000 businesses. That gives us strength of influence. We’ll be feeding back the outcome of the workshop to you.
Also on the European theme, Matt Lee, our ARPAS Standards Director, presented at the 19th Annual UVSI conference on Wednesday in Brussels. Many European and national regulatory bodies were speaking and attending there, including EASA and JARUS, so ARPAS had an excellent audience and some first class networking opportunities. Matt will be providing more details soon.
Closer to home, I have some news of people changes for you. First of all, Andy Houston, who has been Chairman of our Legislation and Regulation Working Group (LRWG) since its inception, and who, with the Group contributed some sterling work on developing the regulatory strategy in our business plan, is now stepping down from that position, to be replaced by Michael Kheng. Many thanks to both Andy for all his work and to Michael for agreeing to take it forward. Andy will still be part of the group, and is staying on as Vice Chairman. The LRWG will continue to work closely with Jon Parker, the ARPAS Legislation and Regulation Director.
I’d also like you to welcome a new face to the ARPAS team, Elena Major. Elena will be working alongside Carey on membership, so you’re likely to be hearing more from her on any membership matters. Elena has a strong background working with people-based organisations so I’m very pleased she’ll be bringing her expertise to ARPAS.
Have a great week, everyone, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.
12th June 2017
Last week in ARPAS-UK – Regulation and Standards
Your Committee is continuing its focus on regulatory and standards issues at the moment. A few weeks ago, EASA published its proposed European Regulations for Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) for consultation, and we made this widely available to members.
Last week, the CAA published notes on the consultation (HERE), which we disseminated to you, urging the importance of responding to the document. I echo that – while ARPAS-UK will be submitting a response to EASA, I would recommend that all of you do the same. A copy of the ARPAS response will be available ahead of the deadline of 12th August, around the end of July, should you wish to use that in your own replies.
We met with CAA again on Friday to discuss this and other issues, and we’ll be making information from that meeting available. We believe that the new EASA regulations will have influence on us, but it is not yet clear how that will take effect. We’ll continue to work closely with CAA on this, and interacting with EASA directly.
You’ll all know, I’m sure, that increasingly, key industries and organisations such as oil and gas, Network Rail and now, National Trust and Crown Estates are developing their own standards regarding drone operations.
I know there are questions that arise as a result of this, and ARPAS-UK is now beginning to engage with these organisations to clarify specific issues. We’ll bring you information as soon we can and it’s approved – we published some of the outcomes of our early engagement with Network Rail last week, and this work is continuing.
I’ll be reporting back on some other issues next week, and in the meantime, Fly Smart, Fly Safe.