Background information

RPAS are identified as a key defence capability and their integration in European non-segregated airspace is a priority for EDA and its Member States. The final goal consists of enabling the seamless integration of RPAS alongside manned aviation. Through dialogue with relevant military and civil stakeholders it has become clear that, to achieve this final goal, a stepped approach may be required. In this perspective, an initial phase identified as ‘RPAS Accommodation’ in which RPAS will operate with limited restrictions has been identified as a key steppingstone. Military are the main stakeholder of RPAS Air Traffic Accommodation.


The new EDA Accommodation study which was launched on 15 January 2024 will further consolidate the results from the 2017 and 2019-2021 studies. The objective of the new study is to perform at least one flight test at European scale with legacy large RPAS operated non-segregated with ATC services provided by civilian Air Traffic Controllers. The scope of the previous demonstration flight (France/Spain in 2019-2021) will be expanded operationally and geographically to involve other EDA pMS to further consolidate the procedures already developed and to cover more possibilities/options of accommodated operations.


The 2024 study deliverables will be available soon:

  • KoM presentation
  • Validation plan: to come
  • Validation report: to come
  • Final report: to come

Stakeholders Consultation Group (SCG)

Within EDA, there are two RPAS expert groups: the ESMAB SEC UAS Integration (EDA SES/SESAR Expert Community) and the European UAS ARF (Airworthiness Regulatory Framework) working groups. In the framework of the accommodation validation study, the contractor sets up a Stakeholder Consultation Group (SCG) and endeavours to include the experts from those two groups and also EUROCONTROL, EASA, SJU, NATO and interested parties like Industry. In the coming months, the contractor will distribute the validation plan and the final report inside this SCG for review. The SCG experts will be invited to the dissemination workshop, where the results from the validation flights will be assessed in view of producing the final report.

The experts from the Stakeholders Consultation Group settled for the initial Accommodation study, are welcome in the SCG for the follow-up study.


The 2019-2021 study aimed at performing flight test validation of several RPAS accommodation scenarios for MALE-type operations in non-segregated airspace. The scenarios came from the 2017 accommodation study, the EDA/EASA guidelines or were identified by the contractor in the framework of the study. Each scenario included a corresponding safety assessment. The focus was set both on the airspace risks and on the ground risks aspects (not considered during the 2017 accommodation study). To this end, the contractor DCI was able to access and utilise information deriving from specific operational flights of the French Air Force Reapers, which the French Authorities made available for the study.

Deliverables from the 2019-2021 EDA ACCOMODATION STUDY



In 2017, the request of several Member States for a Safety Case for MALE-type RPAS flights triggered the “Accommodation study” project. The one-year contract was allocated to THALES UK and NLR for the simulation part.

The goal of the 2017 initial study was to deliver an enhanced Aviation Safety Case Assessment Methodology for RPAS by assimilating and consolidating current best practices, testing this methodology through simulation, and developing consolidated generic RPAS accommodation scenarios, to allow all aspects of aviation hazard analysis to be exercised for MALE-type RPAS into European skies alongside manned aviation.

The final report was released in March 2019. It includes a definition of a «State-of-the-Art» accommodation, a safety assessment method, scenarios and corresponding safety assessments.