The SESAR Outlook Study and Actions Needed to Safeguard European Industry's Competitiveness

  • November 23, 2016

November 23, 2016 – The AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) welcomes the publication of the Drones Outlook Study by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, on the occasion of the High Level Conference on Drones taking place in Warsaw, Poland.

Mr Alfred Lief, Head of UAV Portfolio and Innovation at Airbus Defence and Space, highlighted the need for a common European R&D roadmap and European leadership as a precondition to unlock the potential civil applications offered by drones. In addition, he pointed out that technological spin-offs - such as Detect and Avoid technology – will have clear safety and efficiency benefits for manned aviation as well.

For his part, Mr Lars Sjöström, Vice President Strategy and Future Business at Saab Aeronautics, stressed the need to expedite the regulatory framework required for the insertion of drones into non-segregated airspace and stated that “the worldwide race is on: insertion of drones, and in particular certified (large) drones, is the only key enabler that will allow the market to take off and the sector to develop and demonstrate the validity of its newest technologies”.

Mr Lorenzo Fiori, responsible for Strategy and New Initiatives at Leonardo Helicopters Division, emphasised the importance for all European stakeholders to work together towards clear milestones: “research and innovation have to align with upcoming regulations for all categories of drones: whilst we see the regulations coming, we urgently need increased funding attributions to collaboratively integrate, test and validate the technologies that Europe is investing in, including the cybersecurity aspects. The months and years to come are critical for securing Europe’s leadership on drones and related eco-systems”.

Mr Vincent De Vroey, ASD Civil Aviation Director and Civil Equipment Manufacturers Representative to the Administrative Board of the SESAR Joint Undertaking concluded that “European industry will play a leading role if the right preconditions are created in terms of EU R&D funding and regulatory framework for drones”.