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19 Mar 2019

From “UAV” to “RPAS” – Find Out Why

If you’re been involved in the RPAS industry in the last year, you may have seen the abbreviation “RPAS” used in official Transport Canada documentation and online discussions. Read on to find out the origins of this new term and why Transport Canada wants to move away from the casual use of “drone” and “UAV”.

Goodbye Drone, Hello RPAS

Last year, the term Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) was proposed and approved by Transport Canada as the official term to replace the previous use of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

The rationale outlined suggested that RPAS is a better term from an inclusivity perspective, as the use of “Unmanned” suggested a gender bias. Another reason for the change in terminology is that Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems does a better job of representing the nature of system-oriented operations.

While the adaptation of the RPAS term may take a while to be recognized and frequently used with vendors and the community, we will be following in the footsteps of Transport Canada and using it for our content, both digital and in-person.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, the United States’ regulatory body) will still be using their UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) term, alongside the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the British Civil Aviation Authority, the European Union’s Single-European-Sky (SES) & Air-Traffic-Management (ATM) Research.

If you have any questions regarding terminology or other RPAS-related topics, feel free to reach out via our contact us page here.