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The expansion of unmanned aircraft systems begun in
the 1950s during the World War II and mostly ripened over the years in the
military context. That is why at the moment when media mentions pilotless
aircrafts so called as “drones”, society usually imagine the one kind which
countries are using for the military needs. But today the reality is different,
pilotless aircrafts are getting in the civil market. Nowadays there is no beach
where we cannot find a person walking around with remote suit and the drone
flying above the sea and tourists’ heads. Few years ago this kind of view was a
little bit concerned for the society, drones were identified as spies, but
today the situation has changed and people seeing the flying drone, take it
much easier as few years ago, because for the civilians’ drones first became
friendly in photography industry, it is becoming more and more fashionable if for
example the wedding photos have been taken by a drone. At this moment the
drones have already proven themselves not only in successful military
operations but also in rescue operations, agriculture, weather forecasts, animal behaviour studies and etcetera.1 The list of industries where today drones have been used
is endless and by that drones opened a new chapter in the history of aviation. Even
this field of application of drones is relatively new, for the civilians drones
became as an innovative toy and hobby.

Right now there
are different kinds and types of the drones, depends on the reason of the use
and the price but generally speaking there is no problem for anyone to get a
drone for a private use. The drones we can use not just for a joy and pleasure.
Many business companies use them for collecting and analysing the data, to film events,
inspect buildings and locations and provide entertainment.2 The popularity
of the new opportunities which drones can benefit to society is growing by the
day and is raising the demand of the unmanned aircrafts that high as never
before. But at the same time, approving the potential these new technologies
has for innovation, it is very important to remember about the safety. And
since the drones are the part of the aviation industry, it is significant to
provide the safety with regard to existing manned aviation. And this is one of
the tasks that this paper has to achieve at the end – to prove that currently
the regulation of unmanned aircrafts is not that much safe and the current
regulations are not enough as well to provide the complete safety. For this
reason the demanding industry must carefully speed up the efforts to improve
already existing regulations to provide sustainable growth of the drones in the
aviation sector.3

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Objectives of the study

objectives of this paper are organized by several steps. The main tasks are
first to identify the terminology and definitions of the unmanned aircrafts and
identify its different types. Second, is to identify the main functions of the
drones and find an answer to the question, why the usage of drones became so
popular in nowadays. Third, it is necessary through a review of government and
academic literature, identify current weaknesses and gaps of the existent legal
instruments and through domestic and international instruments, identify the
potential necessity of a new international instrument to regulate and control
drones. Fourth is to explain the necessity of a new legal instrument from an
international perspective and give the recommendations of the key issues what
innovative regulations have to contain the new international legal instrument
to control the unmanned drone. To achieve this result is necessary to carefully
study the already existing domestic laws and international regulations and find
in there the possible problems and gaps, moreover it is necessary to study the
already existing experience in several accidents regarding with unmanned
drones. Only learning from this experience and mistakes is more potential to
find the most successful way toward to the full-fledged regulations in regard
of controlling unmanned aircrafts and avoid further damages and accidents.

Significance of the study

As there is already mentioned, generally speaking, the
pilotless aircrafts are not something very new in the international aviation
law. For military needs they were fully used already in 1950s during the World
War II. But nowadays the situation has changed and the drones have entered into
the civil market opening wide range of options for the society’s welfare. Today
there is no limitation who can use a drone for a different goals – as a
business or hobby or civil missions. But as experience has already proved, when
there is an industry that rapidly expands, there may be a negative consequences
as well. And since the drones have influenced the civil aviation industry,
there must be safety, legal and technical limitations to guarantee the civil
safety. At this moment the aviation already has an experience where the drones
have been flying around the runways and airports which technically in the whole
world are the strict “no-drone zones” – and this despite warnings that this is
prohibited and dangerous. There will be always an individual who will violate
the law exposing other in danger. Also there are already experiences where is
an increase in hacks and modifications in order to broaden the pilotless
aircraft’s flight distance.4
Considering already existed issues in regard of unmanned aircrafts, countries
such as United Kingdom, United States of America, People’s Republic of China,
Russian Federation has agreed to act with much stronger legal framework in the
domestic level than before. The European Union in regional level has declared
that the users of unmanned aircrafts at this moment has to face the safety
risks and there has to be stronger regulations to avoid these risks.
Undoubtedly the new legal instruments have to interact with the domestic and
international level. If there is a discussion about the future when the
pilotless aircrafts will also be not just a goods carrier but also a passenger’
carrier in the civil aviation, at that moment there already has to be a strong
legal instrument which will control the drones’ activities in the case of loss
or damage. Currently if the damage is only about the delivered goods, then the
industry has to learn from the existing mistakes to prepare the legal framework
for the future situations. This is the moment when is important to cooperate
with the countries’ domestic laws and international experience to create a
fundamental, strong legal instrument in international perspective to control
the new world of the drones.

Scope and the limitations of the study

Currently the innovative opportunities of the pilotless
aircrafts enjoys the most of the European countries, but mainly the wave of
drones has crossed the United States of America, People’s Republic of China and
Russian Federation. These are also countries with the advanced technologies and
innovations in the aviation industry, and also a largest number of population.
That is why it is important to take into account the legislation and experience
of these countries and take their suggestions for creating a new international
instrument how to regulate and control the unmanned aircrafts internationally.
For this it is necessary to study the already existing international convention
and study the current situation and practice in the above mentioned countries
and regions. It is important to follow up the newest EU initiatives because as
a region, they are trying to sum up already existing domestic practice and add
innovative issues to protect the EU skies of the possible safety risks. In this
research there are also some limitations to succeed the highest result. First,
the most important limitation of this research is the time period. As
experience already shows, to understand the possible weaknesses and gaps of
currently existing international regulations, there must be a specific accident
or situation where is possible clearly identify the legal problem of pilotless
aircrafts. For that is necessary much longer period to give a qualitative
contribution into the new legal instrument because it is not enough just to
collect already existing information. Every day is possible to receive a new
information about the drones’ activities in different part of the world. Also
the process of adopting a new domestic laws and EU initiatives is very slow, so
to adopt a new international convention will take a while as well as the
procedure is long and complicated. Another limitation of this research is the
information. As the topic is quit new and innovative, and expands rapidly, most
of the scientific literature is about the past experience but the actual events
are mostly in the internet sources, also in debates and forums. That is why
this limitation matches with the third limitation – the finances. To visit the
actual events and forums regarding to discussions about the current situation
in the aviation industry is quite expensive. Also to talk with the scientists,
law makers and involved individuals and get the interviews is quite impossible.
That is why is necessary to wait an official reports and decisions of current
situation, and then again we go back to the first limitation – the time period.
Speaking of the lack of information, is good to mention that it is necessary to
sort the publications and carefully check who is an author of the report and
separate which websites will have the latest and official information regarding
to this topic. Since most of the information is in Internet websites, it is
necessary to avoid the propaganda or the websites which have their own interest
to show not always complete information. Speaking of finances it cannot be
unmentioned that a lot of researchers would like to receive some money for
checking their reports and opinion so the information is not always freely
available. Also as it is Internet and E-libraries, not always the country’s
connection is good or have the necessary access for the E-libraries, often this
limitation can deny access to important information.


The methodology of this research is a qualitative
research method which means that to succeed the result of this paper, the
necessary information will be collect firstly by the analyse of the current
domestic laws and their innovations in such countries as the United Kingdom,
United States of America and People’s Republic of China, also there will be a
look in the regional level legislation such as the European Union initiatives in
this field.

Undoubtedly there will be an analyse of the current
international legal instrument, like the Chicago Convention and the Montreal
Convention.  Another source of the
information will be the already existing literature about the unmanned aircraft
control and necessity of the improved regulations in books, newspapers and magazines.
Also it is important to follow the latest information in the Aviation law field
in the news and the debates of the politicians, lawmakers and regulators. The
information will be collect in the libraries, Internet websites and the media.

Dissertation framework

The research paper has three main chapters and several
sub-chapters. The first chapter is an overview of the pilotless aircraft which
includes such an information as the terminology, the definitions of the
unmanned aircraft, also its types and the functions. The first chapter also
explains why the drones nowadays became so popular and what may be the future
functions of the pilotless aircrafts. And the last issue of this chapter is to
examine the legal issues caused by the unmanned aircrafts.

The second chapter of the dissertation is the legal
frame governing the pilotless aircraft which means that in this part is
examined the different legal instruments, starts from the international
conventions such as the Chicago Convention, Montreal Convention and Beijing
Convention, then is examined the regional convention, such as the EU
legislation and the last is a domestic level legislations, as an example is
taken by several countries, such as United States of America, People’s Republic
of China and the United Kingdom. In this chapter the main task is to find the
conflicts in the already existing international conventions, take the
weaknesses and the gaps of the current legal instrument and to sum up the
information for building a new international legal instrument which has to
prove itself more reliable and stronger.

The third chapter of the dissertation is the summary
of the second chapter, which explains the necessity of the new regulations for
the pilotless aircrafts and includes the suggestions and recommendations for
the key issues what the new international legal instrument has to contain. This
chapter examines this issue from the international and domestic perspective.
Without the three preceding chapters, the thesis also includes an abstract,
acknowledgements, list of acronyms, table of content, introduction, conclusion,
list of used bibliography and annexes.





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