Law Commission consultation on aviation autonomy

Closes 28 Jun 2024

Drones

Consultation Question 34: We provisionally propose that a remote pilot for drones should continue to be defined as “a natural person responsible for safely conducting the flight of an unmanned aircraft by operating its flight controls, either manually or, when the unmanned aircraft flies automatically, by monitoring its course and remaining able to intervene and change its course at any time”. Do you agree?
Consultation Question 35: We seek views on whether some low risk autonomous drone operations or drone operations conducted beyond visual line of sight might be accommodated in the open category. In particular:
  1. whether there are any such use cases which might be suitable for the open category; and
  2. if so, what conditions should be attached to these use cases if operated in the open category.  
Consultation Question 36: We provisionally propose that for autonomous operations in the specific category, a UAS operator should be required to use a UAS which can:

Do you agree?

(Tick all that you agree with)

Consultation Question 37: We seek views on what operational requirements should be applied to autonomous drone operations and drones that operate beyond visual line of sight in the specific and certified categories.
Consultation Question 38: We seek views on whether the current concept of a “remote pilot” is compatible with drone MSO. We also seek views on whether the remote pilots of drone MSO should continue to be subject to the same responsibilities as remote pilots for single drone operations.
Consultation Question 39: We seek views on whether there should be an upper limit to the number of drones for which an individual remote pilot is responsible.
Consultation Question 40: We seek views as to what additional safeguards should be introduced for remote pilots responsible for multiple drones.
Consultation Question 41: We provisionally propose that use of flight data recorder systems or devices should be mandatory for autonomous drone operations. Do you agree?
Consultation Question 42: Should the law permit a drone to transition between remotely piloted and autonomous flight operation?
Consultation Question 43: We seek stakeholder views on any other issues with the current legal framework as it relates to operations involving autonomous drones.