Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Security: The European Approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Civil unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, have many useful applications but can also be used to intentionally cause harm. Additionally, drones themselves can be subject to unlawful interference. In this article, I analyze how European Union’s new rules on drones affect such security threats. I argue that the rules on protecting drones from unlawful interference are promising, although the required security features can also be abused by rogue operators. The intentional misuse of drones, however, is not much deterred by the rules that seek to protect persons and property from such misuse. Rules concerning the operator and the pilot assume compliance, the mandatory technical safeguards can be circumvented, and oversight is difficult because drones are mostly operated from outside airports in a distributed manner. One way to fill the security gap is to employ anti-drone technology that detects drones and prevents them from entering sensitive airspace without permission. Although many airports have already adopted such technology, the EU should consider making it mandatory for the busiest airports. Regardless of rules enacted by the Union, though, reliable and safe means of stopping unlawful drone operations should be employed at critical locations. This applies also to areas like prisons and power plants, the protection of which falls within the ambit of national security.
Translated title of the contributionMiehittämättömät siviili-ilma-alukset ja turvallisuus: Euroopan unionin sääntelymalli
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-101
JournalJournal of Transportation Security
Issue number3-4
Early online date23 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • unmanned aerial vehicles
  • unmanned aircraft systems
  • uas
  • rpas
  • drone
  • drones
  • security
  • aviation law
  • air law
  • European union law
  • EASA
  • European aviation safety agency
  • Unmanned aircraft systems
  • Remotely piloted aircraft systems
  • Security
  • Aviation law
  • Air law
  • European law
  • Drones

Field of science

  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Security: The European Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Citation for this output