Drone technology has grown at a very fast pace, developing applications in various fields. The rail sector is one of the most promising environments for maximizing the leverage of drone technology, notably along railway tracks for vegetation detection, catenary inspections, civil engineering photogrammetry, railway track wear detection, asset inventory and first responder applications.

EIM in action

  • EIM’s WG Drones promotes the needs of IMs within the existing and future EU regulation and legislation regarding the use of drones as well as a coordinated approach among IMs on European level.
  • EIM seeks to increase IM’s visibility in the domain of drones by participating in the EC Drone Expert Group and events and meetings organised by EASA.
  • EIM cooperates with CER and UIC regarding regulatory and technical aspects of drones.

EIM actions in 2022

  • The WG Drones enquired and discussed different gaps in the EU legislation, notably on the specificities of the rail environment and the possible narrative on why it requires specific air space rules.
  • It also discussed IMs experiences to maximise the efficiency of drone capability on the respective railways.

Outlook 2023

  • EIM will continue to promote a coordinated approach among IMs at a European level on the use of drones.
  • EIM will also address standardisation aspects with CEN
  • EIM will engage with the EC to promote the specificities of drones in the rail sector.