The first-ever Meeting of Asia-Pacific regulators on Advanced Aircraft Mobility (AAM) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and an accompanying engagement with industry, was convened on 9 November 2023 in Singapore, according to a Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) press statement.
At the inaugural meeting, chaired by CAAS Director-General, Mr Han Kok Juan, the Asia-Pacific CAAs identified eight areas of priority (see Annex B – Details on eight workstreams) and set up workstreams comprising various CAAs to work on each of these areas. The CAAs will develop a set of reference materials which regulators can consider, adapt, and use to facilitate the commercial operations of AAM and implementation of complex UAS operations which will be ready in 2025.
The CAAS “sought to foster collaboration amongst regulators, and between regulators and industry, to pool expertise and resources and to identify and mitigate risks to leverage AAM and UAS safely and effectively. The inaugural meeting was attended by 17 Asia-Pacific civil aviation authorities (CAAs) and 24 AAM and UAS institutes and companies ( see Annex A – List of 17 CAAs and 24 AAM/UAS institutes and companies)
“With rapid advancements in technology, AAM and UAS are expected to transform the way people work, move and live,” said the authority. “Regulators and regulation need to keep pace with technology to reap its full benefits while ensuring security and public and aviation safety. In the area of AAM, a few CAAs have either certified air taxis or are in the process of doing so. Other CAAs which are not regulators for States of Design are also needing to put in place regulations to be able to subsequently accept them for entry into service as States of Registry, States of the Operator and/or States of the Aerodrome.
“In the area of UAS, many countries have already introduced drone operations. Based on a recent survey conducted by CAAS, most of the CAAs in the Asia-Pacific region identified beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations as the area they find most challenging to regulate. They also identified five use cases to focus on – infrastructure inspection, recreational and sports activities, surveillance and security, delivery and logistics, and aerial photography and videography – where CAAs could benefit from the sharing of approaches and technical requirements to build capability.
“In response to these developments and in anticipation of future needs, CAAS initiated the Meeting of Asia-Pacific Regulators on AAM and UAS to: a) raise awareness of new technologies and regulatory approaches and practices; b) facilitate alignment on regulatory approaches and practices; and c) support adoption of policies and regulations.
“Alongside the Regulators Meeting, CAAS also convened the Regulators-Industry Engagement Meeting for CAAs from across the region to share their regulatory approaches and to engage private sector institutes and companies on their plans.”
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