The Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS), an international working group bringing together the representatives of 61 national aviation authorities (NAAs) & EASA, has done a lot of good work and supplied the international drone community with a significant number of highly valued guidance documents.

However, since its last Plenary Meeting in Chengdu, China in October 2019, nothing has been heard from JARUS.

The current situation can be summarized as follows:

  • Communication by the JARUS leadership team has been practically non-existent for about a year;
  • The restructuring of JARUS has not taken place;
  • No discussion on the possible necessity to adapt the JARUS Terms of Reference has been finalized;
  • The new JARUS Work Plan (approved at the meeting in Oct. 2019) has not been implemented;
  • The JARUS leadership team is incomplete (no Chair, no Secretary General – only 2 Vice-Chairs);
  • The JARUS election process (for Chair & Secretary General), has not been initiated.
  • There no longer seems to be a functioning secretariat;
  • Emails sent to are not answered;
  • EUROCONTROL, administrator of the JARUS web site & «share point» portal, is no longer a member of JARUS, and a new administrator has not been found;
  • The JARUS web site and «share point» portal are not being administered, and are not up-to-date;
  • The JARUS membership listing is not up-to-date;
  • Only one JARUS document has been published and posted on the JARUS web site since Oct. 2019;
  • The 1st JARUS Plenary Meeting for 2020, initially planned to take place in Ottawa, Canada; was reprogrammed to take place in Rome, Italy in April 2020, and then cancelled.
  • No new meeting has been planned and announced.

This situation appears to be due to the disarray in which the reduced JARUS leadership team finds itself. However, that does not explain the lack of communication. COVID-19 was obviously the reason for the cancellation of the 1st Plenary Meeting in 2020. But why has no effort been made to organize a virtual meeting?

As a consequence of this situation, the Stakeholder Consultation Body (SCB), a self-governing association of aviation industry organisations providing expertise and advice to support the JARUS Work Program, which consists of a significant amount of voluntary aviation industry organisation representatives from various continents, has been twiddling its thumbs in total incomprehension for a year, and, due to a lack of communication by the JARUS leadership team, the SCB leadership has not been able to supply any explanations to the SCB participants.

Is JARUS still a functioning body capable of living up to the expectations placed in it?

It is to be hoped that the JARUS leadership team rapidly realizes that, if it does not act urgently, and dramatically improves its communication skills, JARUS, and the unique potential that it holds, may fade away from too many radar screens, and it may not be possible to revive the organisation. That would be a set-back for the international aviation and drone industries, as well as many NAAs. It should be noted that JARUS is the only forum (other than ICAO) where the world’s NAAs and aviation industry communities can meet and collaborate to prepare guidance for a safe future for drone operations. JARUS is also the only existing international forum where NAAs from all countries can interact, share best practices, and learn from each other’s national drone regulation implementation experiences.

About the Author

Peter van Blyenburgh, the author of this article, has been involved with JARUS since its inception. He designed the JARUS logo and created the JARUS web, which he hosted & administered for the first 3 years of JARUS. He widely promoted JARUS and motivated a significant number of NAAs to come on board. As a representative of UVS International, he is a member of the JARUS SCB.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and they are not necessarily shared by the members of the JARUS SCB, or the members of UVS International.

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.