Press Releases

ACI World’s new policy paper will help airports respond to the rapid growth in drone use

Montreal, 27 August 2018 – In response to the rapid growth of the drone and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) market worldwide, Airports Council International (ACI) World has today launched a policy paper on drones providing informed and practical recommendations for airports.

Drone operations are expected to soon surpass the number of manned aircraft operations and airport operators have a vested interest in the development of regulations and standards that determine how drones will be integrated into the aviation system.

To aid this process, the ACI World Governing Board requested the ACI World Safety and Technical Standing Committee to develop a comprehensive policy paper, following on from the ACI advisory bulletin on Drones and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems issued in 2016.

The policy document aims to ensure that useful drone operations are facilitated without negative impact to the safety, security, efficiency or capacity of airport operations.

The policy paper calls for a risk-based approach and will help airports address a growing area of concern. The policy will be reviewed and updated regularly acknowledging that technology and operational requirements in this area develop rapidly.

“It is imperative that airport operators are aware of, and remain responsive to, the risks, challenges, and opportunities associated with new technology and new industry developments,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “We have drafted this policy paper in response to the rapid development and proliferation of drones to help airports and governments prepare effective procedures and regulations to ensure continuing safe operations.

“With the support of our comprehensive overview and practical recommendations, airport operators can be informed and active in decision making with their regulators and aircraft operators to develop and publish procedures that suit their local conditions.”

Notes for editors

1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2018, ACI serves 641 members operating 1953 airports in 176 countries.

The ACI World Safety and Technical Standing Committee comprising of leading airport experts from all the ACI regions covers airport planning; design and development; airspace and airport capacity; physical characteristics of runways, taxiways and aprons, aircraft/airport compatibility issues, including the impact of new large aircraft (NLA); visual aids for navigation; future air navigation systems; airport equipment and installations; safety management; safety management, including runway and apron safety; aerodrome emergency planning; rescue and fire-fighting; (and the removal of disabled aircraft). Its work especially relates to ICAO Annex 14 (Aerodromes).

2. Download the policy paper.

Media contacts:

Hicham Ayoun
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1223
Email:   mediarelations@aci.aero

Anita Berthier
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254
Email:    mediarelations@aci.aero