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Low Level Drone Guidance

The number of drone sightings by pilots and ATCOs and related airprox reports continues to rise. There have been numerous cases of airspace and aerodrome closures due to drones in the vicinity. Many countries do not yet have standard procedures to deal with drone sightings near aerodromes or violations of controlled airspace. IFATCA has released a guidance document on very-low-level drone operations near controlled airports.

The objective of this discussion and guidance material is to promote and uphold a high standard of knowledge and professional efficiency among Air Traffic Controllers. This document is for: distribution to IFATCA Member Associations and ATCOs; as guidance for IFATCAs’ representatives; and for public dissemination. The guidance material focusses on drones operating very-low-level (e.g. not above 400 ft AGL) near controlled airports, generally within controlled airspace, and either VLOS💬 or BVLOS💬.

The guidance material complements the IFALPA/IFATCA Drone Sighting Guidelines published 29 August 2018. It also aligns with IFATCA’s policy statements on the operational use of unmanned aircraft.

Remote Towers: an overview

The concept of remote operations remains the subject of debates, working groups, studies and, above all, professional reality. While issues related to Remote Air Traffic Services are still under discussion, and without specific global guidelines to regulate standards available, the industry is moving forward with testing multiple tower solutions.

IFATCA has compiled a quick reference to assist Member Associations that are confronted with implementation scenarios in their country. It includes a list of topics that they can expect to come up in discussions.

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