France: recent UAS developments

By Gabriel Voisin, Guilhem Argueyrolles, Noemie Ohana


Drone manufacturers, distributors and resellers to provide recreational users with 10 basic principles

In mid-December 2014, the French Civil Aviation Authority ("CAA") issued ten basic principles that all recreational drone users should respect. The leaflet aims to increase drone users’ awareness and ensure that drones are operated in compliance with the law. Various recommendations were made, including the statement that “one should never lose sight of his drone”, nor “use it close to aerodromes”, and that “it is prohibited to flight drones by night”.  

It should be noted that the principles are to be distributed by drone manufacturers, distributors and/or resellers on a voluntary basis. However, French Minister, Ségolène Royale, recently indicated that further information requirements are currently being contemplated by the competent authorities (i.e. the French CAA and data protection authorities) and representatives of the industry. It is therefore possible that further recommendations and principles could follow. A copy of the 10 principles (in French) can be found at:

The French civil drone industry association ("FPDC") appoints Guilhem Argueyrolles (Bird & Bird) to look after regulatory and international matters

A new board was elected at the FPDC's annual meeting held on 14 January 2015. The board will be chaired by Stephane Morelli, with Guilhem Argueyrolles in charge of legal and international matters. Guilhem, an Associate in our Paris, will be the FPDC’s dedicated representative in dealing with the regulatory authorities (i.e. the French CAA, OACI, European Commission, EASA, JARUS) and will closely monitor the upcoming legal and regulatory changes affecting the UAS industry. He will also liaise with French insurance providers with a view to developing competitive and tailor-made insurance policies for FPDC members.

Business opportunity: France seeks proposals to stop drone flights over nuclear plants

Following multiple reports of illegal drone flights over nuclear power plants in France, the French government announced on 8 December 2014 that it will begin a research and development program with its National Research Agency in order to develop technology that can detect and intercept UAS. This issue is viewed by many security experts as being a threat to critical infrastructures. The French government is currently accepting project proposals until 3 February 2015 (deadline). More details can be found at the following address:

Should you have any questions about any of the above or if you would like to know more about our European and APAC UAS capabilities, please contact Gabriel Voisin or Guilhem Argueyrolles.