Airbus Defense and Space said it will now work with EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) to develop a certification process for civilian UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) based on the process normally used for manned aircraft.
The application, which Airbus described as the first in Europe, was filed for the company's Atlante UAV, which is intended for a number of civil missions, such as surveillance of oil pipes, power lines and railways, as well as for use during natural disasters.
The Atlante was developed by Airbus in Spain. It weighs nearly 1,257 pounds and has a wingspan of 26 feet. "The launch of the Atlante application will help EASA to secure a world-leading position in the establishment of the appropriate regulatory framework under which such systems will be designed, produced and maintained. And it will enable Airbus Defense and Space to maintain a leading industrial position in this new and challenging civil aviation sector. UAVs represent a rapidly growing activity in commercial aviation that will have a very significant economic impact in the near future," said Miguel Ángel Morell, head of Engineering for Military Aircraft at Airbus Defense and Space.