Drone Pilot Training & Qualification – EU Harmonization is a Must
Engineer diploma in the industrial energetics field. PhD in Energetics (missile propulsion) at ONERA. Research Engineer at Engie since 2006, in charge of the Fluid Dynamics modelling Team. Co-founder of Engie Drones Lab early 2014. Drone instructor. Drone R&D contact for Engie Drone Lab (internal and external developments). Co-leader on WorkGroup Test Ranges for CDC (CT2) and pretty soon also on CT4 (Training) and its GT1 (International Issues). Ex-National Delegate of FPDC for Training (5 years long). Aeronautical background since 1995 : PPL(A)/SEP 200 hours. PPL(S) – Sailplane Flight Examinator (2000 hours) and pilot of French Glider Aerobatic Team (Vice-World chammpion in 2017). Competitor in aerobatics (French & World Championship). RC pilot (airplane (aerobatics), glider (slope flights) and muti-rotors) since 1991.
Since 2012 France has a drone regulation. Rules are today mainly focused on RPAS conformity, operational scenario, the distance from pilot depending on the scenario, height and weight limits. In 2016, a training decree was supposed to be published, but in the framework of new rules designed to strengthen drone usages (caused by many infractions over nuclear plants) it has been delayed and will be publish soon. New incoming rules will concern commercial and leisure activities, drone registration, capacity limitation, geo-fencing, sound and visual signalling. In the training decree that will be published soon, DGAC has identified criteria that the pilot must meet for both theoretical and practical skills. To prove that, the different learning phases must be recorded in a personal progress booklet. One of the main differences in comparison with other countries is that those requirements are mostly based on operational skills instead of piloting skills. For practical skills four macro-competences are addressed: mission planning, machine preparation, normal and abnormal flight management. The French Civil Drone Council and the French Professional Civil Drone Federation (FPDC) are working together to build a standard evaluation process of the competences in training centres labelled by the FPDC & sponsored by the DGAC. The development of the drone pilot profession is under construction with interaction with other professional branches. This is done with a look at the practical requirements required in the different EU countries, in order to build a common base that could be proposed as a common way forward to EASA, in the context of the new regulation. The presentation will cover these national steps .