Argentine proposed provisional regulations for drones operations

In Argentina there are a number of companies and governmental institutions interested in operating drones for as many purposes as agriculture, livestock breeding, mining and police searches to name just a few. The technological improvements and applications are so dynamic that a dramatic increase in the use of these aircrafts is highly likely to happen in the years to come as will be the development of regulations to adapt to this new reality.

Resolution No. 41/2015 issued by the ANAC, Argentine Civil Aviation Authority was published in the Official Gazette on February 12, 2015. The rule called for a 30-day open season under the Participated Drafting of Legislation regime for interested parties to have the opportunity to make comments and observations to the draft provisional regulations for unmanned aircraft systems or non-piloted aircrafts attached to the said Resolution.

This draft regulation is not yet in effect but it is expected that ANAC will approve it in the near future, either with its current wording or amended, as it awaits the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s recommendations along the lines that the definitive regulations should follow.

The draft provisional regulations aim to govern the operation of remotely-piloted aircrafts, those entirely autonomous and a combination of both. Anybody intended to operate these types of vehicles must obtain an authorization from ANAC, except for the small ones up to 10 kilograms of empty weight. The aircrafts must be registered with the National Aircrafts Registry and affix an identification plate on them. The operation of aircrafts with a recreational or sport purpose including leisure, pleasure or therapeutic is beyond the scope of the regulations. This excludes non-consented photography or filming of third parties or their belongings and the performance of activities similar to aerial works. Those remotely-piloted aircrafts to be used to record, photograph or hold any type of sensors for the transmission of information shall be subject to express approval by the specific aerial and telecommunication authorities. Other than with prior and exceptional approval, operation of aircrafts or systems of aerial vehicles shall be banned in controlled areas such cities, towns, residential zones, routes, highways, crowd concentrations or around airfields, nor shall they be entitled to perform acrobatic flights or fly below certain altitudes above ground level which will depend on the specific space over which they perform. Also, these aircrafts shall not be permitted to transport persons or cargo except in the event that the latter be essential for the performance of the authorized activity.

Likewise, limitations have been established with respect to visibility and distance between the remote operative crew and the aircraft so as to secure a permanent monitoring and control of the flights. Flights shall only be allowed during daylight and under meteorology conditions that ensure safe operations. Any type of non-piloted autonomous aircraft operations are prohibited whatever their purpose. All crew members of a remotely-piloted aircraft must perform the operation ensuring a direct and continuous visibility, holding them and those who facilitate the operations liable for the damages they can cause to third parties during such operations, including the obligation to retain civil liability insurance for the amounts stated by the Aeronautic Code.

For further information on this topic please contact Valeriano Guevara Lynch