More and more drones flying over our heads 15/11/2018|Press releasesThe number of drones in the Czech Republic has been growing. While there are about one thousand registered drones used by professionals, there will be tens of thousand of drones for recreational use. Pilotless flying offers huge opportunities for the future and the Czech Republic wants to be among the European leaders in this field. The "Smart Sky" concept aims at introducing a testing environment following the current trends in the Czech Republic. Pilotless planes have a big potential in many industries such as aerial photography, infrastructure inspections, security, search for people, building security, agriculture, telecommunications, the film industry and transportation of parcels and medical materials. These machines keep on improving, constantly receive new features and become cheaper to buy. In the future they may even transport people. "Drones have a huge potential and can bring substantial innovation to transportation. The use of drones by the police, customs administration and fire brigade is a separate chapter. Clear rules must be defined and regulation must apply in the future, so that drones do not threaten the air traffic and citizens," says the Transport Minister Dan Ťok. The Smart Sky concept defines the essential pillars for this: use of traditional know-how in the aviation industry, university research and development, international collaboration, creation of infrastructure and well-functioning state administration and regulation. "We want to ensure that drones can operate in a safe way up to the level of autonomous flying and want to support the development of all related services. On the Czech territory we also want to establish testing space for drones which follows local trends in Europe and the world," minister Ťok lists more concept objectives. The Smart Sky concept is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority, Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic, Czech Technical University and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Alliance (UAVA). Air space digitalisation, involving certain security features, a high level of automation and simplicity in use, will be the tool to achieve this objective. The unmanned vehicles strategy also brings more awareness campaigns in this area where commercial flights without a permit, flying over people, buildings and roads without a permit and better control and enforcement of the rules in practice are the most frequent offences. These steps are taken in line with new European legislation that shall be passed at the turn of 2018 and 2019. Its objective is to create a more efficient and flexible regime that will unify the rules for unmanned vehicles across the EU. It will introduce three basic operation categories and reference to the so-called UTM/U-Space, i.e. services and infrastructure for the control and monitoring of drones in air space. The new legislation shall also, among other things, establish a national registry for all drones heavier than 250 g and their operator.