March 25, 2015 / 10:29 PM / in 3 years

U.N. aviation agency to seek green light on domestic drone rules

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The United Nations aviation agency will ask its governing council for the right to take the unusual step of helping member states draft their domestic drone rules, an official said Wednesday.

The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is working on new global safety standards for 2018 on larger remotely piloted aircraft that can fly across borders.

But participants at a drone symposium this week have also asked for guidance towards integrating unmanned aircraft used for domestic commercial purposes.

Some fear the creation of a “patchwork” of domestic drone regulations that would differ from country to country, confusing operators and manufacturers in a rapidly-evolving industry that analyst Teal Group predicts will evolve into a $91 billion market in 10 years.

“What I heard from the symposium is that there is a need for ICAO to offer guidance to help states with their local legislation,” said Stephen Creamer, who takes over as director of the organization’s air navigation bureau on April 1.

ICAO cannot interfere with state sovereignty, but sets safety standards that typically become regulatory requirements in its 191 member countries.

Editing by Grant McCool

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