On 7 May 2015, a rotorcraft developed within the ICARUS FP7 research project performed the first-ever legally approved Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) flight in Brussels, less than one kilometre away from the Berlaymont building, the iconic headquarters of the European Commission, as confirmed by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA).
The EURECAT (previously known as ASCAMM) rotorcraft equipped with thermal imaging sensors demonstrated its operational capabilities in detecting victims and dropping rescue kits following a disaster.
In order to ensure a safe demonstration for people on the ground and aircraft in the air, the flight took place in an airspace reserved by the Belgian CAA for the exclusive use of RPAS (so-called “closed airspace” in red on the map). At the same time, the Mayor of Brussels had authorised the use of public land for the take-off and landing of the aircraft.
Finally, VIP’s including Mr Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, followed the demonstration as part of the European Civil Protection Forum 2015.
More info about the RPAS demonstrations and the European Civil Protection Forum is available: