Airbus Defence and Space submitted a formal application for civil certification of its unmanned aerial vehicle, Atlante, to the European Aviation Safety Agency, the body responsible for certifying all aircraft in Europe.
The Atlante is a single-engine, propeller-powered UAV weighing over 1,200 pounds and has a wingspan of over 25 feet. It can take on a variety of commercial roles, including surveillance of oil pipelines, power lines, railways, natural disasters, forest fires or sporting events.
Airbus and EASA will now work together to develop a certification process to set the standards for UAV certification in Europe.
“UAVs represent a rapidly growing activity in commercial aviation that will have a very significant economic impact in the near future,” says Miguel Ángel Morell, head of engineering for military aircraft at Airbus. “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.”