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Madrid, December 16th, 2020


The sixth edition of the CivilDRON congress has served to analyze, on December 15th and 16th, the current situation of the civil applications of unmanned aircraft sector. Jorge Manchado, instructor of RPAS courses at SENASA, gave a presentation during the event entitled "U-space (another new era)", and analyzes with us some of the main aspects about the present and future of drones.


How are RPAS changing our lives? What are the main applications that can reach our day to day in the coming years?


The general public still does not perceive a significant change in their lives due to the use of RPAS, but this does not mean that there is not a social benefit. For example, in a fire, when sunset comes, conventional aircraft cannot fly. When using a drone for fire monitoring purposes, infrared imaging is vitally helpful in redirecting the teams working on the ground and increasing situational awareness. Also the transport of objects with UAS, which has not yet materialized, is going to be a revolution. Not only in the transport of commercial cargo, but, for example, in the possibility of delivering vaccines, medicines or other essential services to remote areas of our geography under adverse weather conditions.


How can the new regulation affect RPAS operators?


Surely, with the application of the new European regulations (January 1st, 2021) the number of drones will increase, which will increase the level of awareness among society. Government information campaigns will also be necessary, through the media and social networks. Undoubtedly, the implementation of the new regulation will provide more autonomy to RPAS operators, as it is less restrictive. This will not only happen in Spain, but in all neighboring countries, since we have all implemented more restrictive national regulations than the new one. In this sense, the European agency (EASA) has praised how things have been done in Spain by all the actors involved. Now it is time to follow that line and improve as much as possible.


To what extent can the U-space concept change the development and applications of drones?


Mainly, although it is not the only objective of the U-space, I believe that the greatest development, both in terms of hardware and software and applications, will be linked to the concept of UAM (Urban Air Mobility).


What role can SENASA play in the development of the RPAS sector in the coming years?


SENASA is a national and international reference in the fields of aeronautical training and consulting. This has been the case since its creation and will continue to be so in the future. We will continue to train the best professionals and offer all the UAS aeronautical training that European regulations allow us. For example, courses to fly in subcategory A2 (drones with a maximum weight under 4 kg) or to operate in the standard national and European scenarios. An important field can also be opened in the refresher courses for remote pilots, since the official certificate will be valid for 5 years, extendable through a knowledge assessment. Finally, I would highlight the possibility of providing training in “non-EASA” skills (communications courses, for example) and UAS night operations courses, which I think will be very necessary.


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