Catherine Piana


Co-Federation of European Security Services (CoESS), Belgium


Bio Data     

Since August 2014, Catherine Piana is the Director General of CoESS, which acts as the voice of the private security industry in Brussels vis-à-vis European institutions and other key stakeholders in Europe & beyond. She coordinates the industry’s position, acts as the organisation’s spokesperson for all matters of interest to private security, including Critical Infrastructure Protection, the Insider Threat, the future regulation on RPAS, and many more. She coordinated the publication of the CoESS successive papers & presentations on RPAS since the publication of EASA’s Technical Opinion. Since June 2016, Catherine is also the Director General of ASSA-I (Aviation Security Services Association-International). Catherine chairs CEN TC 439 on “Private Security Services” and, as such, coordinates the industry’s standards with the aim to support the highest quality standards, in particular in areas of Critical Infrastructure. She also serves as an expert representing Belgium within ISO TC 292 “Security in Resilience”. Catherine previously served as Director General of the European Vending Association (1997-2013), CEO of the Worldwide Vending Associations (2008-2012) and PR Adviser of the Secretary General of EuroCommerce (1990-1997). She holds a Masters Degree in Translation (English-Italian-French), an MBA, and is a Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), and a certified trainer. She communicates in 6 languages (French, English, Italian, Spanish, German and Dutch).


RPAS represent an interesting and useful addition to the range of technological means and equipment in use by private security services. The use of RPAS and other unmanned vehicles are also consistent with the new paradigm in private security, the so-called “New Security Company”, whereby security agents & technology are combined into “security solutions”, with a view to optimizing the service to clients, and provide enhanced security. The Private Security Industry provides an increasing range of services to both private and public clients.  CoESS therefore argues that private security, whilst being a commercial activity, serves a key purpose in protecting people & assets, and should therefore be treated differently from other types of commercial services. The Private Security Industry sees opportunities in three types of activities with unmanned aircraft:

–   Supporting guards in their missions, making them less dangerous & more efficient, using fully automated drones to carry out security missions;

–   Tracking, tracing, monitoring & responding to alerts related to drones, in the same way as the industry already tracks land vehicles, in coordination and cooperation with air control agencies;

–   Detecting & preventing the ill use of RPAS, whether unintentional, intentional or malicious – subject to rules & regulations creating a legal basis for this type of response and the ensuing liability as a result of the latter.

This presentation aims to facilitate the EU and national decision-makers’ and stakeholders’ understanding of the needs of private security companies that wish to operate drones, and will be illustrated with a few concrete scenarios.

Scroll Up