Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

The new European Drone Strategy, which is one of the Rural Action Plan strategies to improve rural connectivity, was adopted on 29 November 2022 by the European Commission.

The communication sets out a vision for the further development of the European drone market. It builds on the EU’s safety framework for operating and setting the technical requirements of drones, which is the world’s most advanced. The new Strategy lays out how Europe can pursue large-scale commercial drone operations while offering new opportunities in the sector. It involves all parties concerned at local, regional and national levels to make sure that safe and secure drone operations are deployed, both in urban and rural areas in a fair and sustainable manner.

When consulted about the Long-term Vision for Rural Areas, DESIRA and Rural Digitalisation Forum experts evaluated the impacts that drones and other sensing technologies can have on agriculture, forestry and rural areas, particularly with a view to 2040.

Drones are tools that can provide better accessibility in remote rural areas. This technology attracts the attention of local municipalities and stakeholders to contribute to a sustainable and integrated mobility. In this way, less polluting, less congesting and safer mobility solutions will be provided to local communities.

In addition to that, the advanced transport technology is readily taken up, as drones deliver services and goods to smaller villages from the local manufacturing supplier or distribution centre. Moreover, rural areas can attract small and medium-sized enterprises to settle down, as the drone sector is developing in a fast pace it might serve as a potential future transport method.