RPAS and AAM Roadmap Consultation

Closed 19 Apr 2022

Opened 8 Mar 2022

Feedback updated 15 Jun 2022

We asked

From 8 March to 19 April 2022, we sought feedback on the draft Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Strategic Regulatory Roadmap. The consultation asked industry if our approach to aviation safety regulations for drones and AAM over the next 10 years and beyond had been captured.

This consultation has now closed, and a summary of feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

On 6 May 2021, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released the National Emerging Aviation Technologies (NEAT) Policy Statement.

This statement tasked CASA with producing a safety regulatory roadmap RPAS and AAM.

CASA developed the initial roadmap with industry experts between July 2021 and January 2022 by setting up a technical working group under the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel.

You said

We received 109 responses to the consultation:

  • Commercial Remotely Piloted Aircraft: 34
  • Model aircraft: 26
  • Training organisations: 4
  • Industry associations: 4
  • Government: 10
  • Other aviation: 12
  • Other: 19

We thank respondents for their contributions and feedback.

Summary of feedback

Responses were positive and constructive. The feedback we received revealed some common themes, including:

  • the roadmap should be reviewed regularly to make sure it continues to reflect the needs of industry
  • the timelines noted will not keep pace with the anticipated development of technology in these areas
  • emergency services should be included as an individual use case
  • the needs of the sports and recreation community were not addressed in the roadmap.

We did

We considered all feedback and will incorporate changes and further clarify content in the final roadmap.

To address the above themes, we intend to report on and review this roadmap regularly. A short section will be included in the final published version of the roadmap outlining this intent.

We also note that the development of new technologies will likely outpace our regulatory change processes. However, we will look to use tools such as regulatory sandboxes and digital enablement to help keep up with the progression of technology in support of future regulatory processes.

The requirements for emergency services operations was considered under various use cases during the development of the roadmap. To make sure consultation feedback is reflected, we have changed the ‘operations’ section to clarify our intention to consider ways for improving approval processes for RPAS and AAM use in emergency service operations.

In response to the feedback regarding the sports and recreational community, extra activities will be added to the final roadmap to better address the needs of this sector.

We have added changes and expansions to the roadmap to better clarify the original meaning and intent. We also added recreational accreditation to the roadmap, noting its deferment from 2022 to 2023.

Next steps

The RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap will be published by the end of June 2022.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The RPAS and AAM Roadmap has been developed as an initiative under the Australian Government’s National Emerging Aviation Technology (NEAT) Policy Statement, released by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in May 2021.

It is intended to provide a plan for the realisation of a long-term vision for the Australian remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) regulatory regime and the integration of these technologies into the civil aviation system.

CASA is now seeking comment on the draft RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap (the Roadmap). The intent of the Roadmap is to provide clarity about Australia’s future approach to aviation safety regulation and safety oversight for RPAS and AAM.

The Roadmap is still in the drafting phase. It does not represent government policy, nor does it predetermine the options the government may consider when making final decisions.

Please note that we are not seeking comments on matters of existing CASA RPAS policy and legislation.

Why your views matter

CASA recognises the valuable contribution community and industry consultations make to the policy decision-making process and future regulatory change. Comments are sought from every sector of the community.

This includes the public, government agencies and all sectors of the aviation industry, whether as an aviator, aviation consumer and/or provider of related products and services.

At the end of the response period for public comment, we will review each comment and submission received.

All submissions will be made publicly available on our website, unless you request your submission remain confidential.

What happens next

At the end of the response period for public comment, we will review each comment and submission received.

All submissions will be made publicly available on our website, unless you request your submission remain confidential.

A summary of consultation will also be published, which summarises the feedback received, outlines any intended changes and details of the roadmap.

CASA intends to publish the final RPAS and AAM Roadmap by the end of June 2022.

Audiences

  • Drone operators

Interests

  • Owners of drones or model aircraft