Israel Grants Permission to Large Drones to Fly in Civilian Airspace

In recent news, the Transportation Ministry in the State of Israel confirmed that the StarLiner drone of the Elbit defense contractor has been granted permission to take flight in civilian airspace. This move has made the Jewish state the first country across the globe to permit unmanned aerial vehicles of such kind to do so. The announcement was further corroborated by the company itself. The Civil Aviation Authority of the country granted these flying permits back in late December after running evaluations consecutively, one that lasted over six years. However, the company just recently made the revelation related to the change. 

The chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel, Joel Feldschuh, went on to express joy at the approval. He went on to add that Type Certificate had been issued to the Hermes StarLiner UAS, which granted it special permission to take flight and land in civilian airspaces, just like the rest of the civil aircrafts operating in the country. According to him, the CAAI has corroborated that this is a first for Israel, as well as the world. As of now, the UAVs currently operating in the country do not possess the necessary sensors required to fly in civilian airspace, without interfering with the flight of another aircraft. 

Due to this very reason, the other countries around the world have made laws that prohibit powerful drones, especially those that can reach high altitudes, from flying in such airspaces. The StarLiner drone manufactured by Elbit is just a modified and improved version of the company’s Hermes 900. It is employed by militaries of various countries across the globe and was developed to abide by the requirements of civil aviation. One of these requirements was to install sensors in the aircrafts to help in the identification of other aircrafts in the same airspace. This would help avoid accidents and collisions between them.

Another requirement was to install another warning system in the drones to keep them from approaching, as well as crashing, into the ground below. Other requirements included landing systems that would operate in no-visibility situations, autonomous takeoff, along various other modifications. The StarLiner was developed to allow security agencies and government authorities to gather domestic intelligence for two primary reasons. The first being to track climate change and the local environment, the second is to gather intel for internal security purposes. However, it had to be made sure that there were no other aircrafts in the same airspace. 

Elbit revealed a statement saying that the approval received from the government to fly the UAS overpopulated areas is going to be helpful for commercial and international organizations. Moreover, it will give them the opportunity to incorporate long-endurance and large unmanned aircrafts in several missions, which were formerly performed by men. For now, the certification will only be applicable in Israeli civilian airspace. But as time passes, it is expected that the idea will be accepted internationally, and consequently, implemented by various countries across the globe.

Skip to content