EASA drone operating rules replace national laws in the European Union

As from today, 31 December 2020, new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) drone operating rules come into effect across the European Union and associated States.

They harmonise rules across the EU, UK, Norway and Iceland. EASA has set up a site
(www.easa.europa.eu/drones) where the new rules are laid out – though national authorities will also have details on the new rules. EASA has also launched a site for operators to login and keep updated with regulatory changes by creating an account (https://lnkd.in/db5Nwpm)

Regulation (EU) 2019/947 replaces many different national laws with a single set of rules, requiring operators to register their drones and making it clear where drones can be flown. The main provisions include requirements that:

  • All drone operators must register (with the exception of toy drones weighing less than 250 grams and that have no camera).
  • Drone operators (remote pilots) flying drones that weigh more than 250 grams must complete a training course. On completing the training they will be given a certificate that is valid throughout the EU.
  • There will be nor more distinction between recreational and professional drone flights – but drone operations will be separated into three categories (see below).

According to the Danish Transport And Housing Authority:

“Until now, a distinction has been made between off-by-city drone flying and urban drone flying, but this distinction is lifted by the new rules. Instead, drone flying is divided into three categories depending on the risky flight and the mitigation measures taken for the flight.  The first category – the open category – covers hobby flights and toy drones where there is a low risk of injury to third parties.  The second category, the specific category, covers flights where there is an increased risk of injury to third parties. This category includes, among other things, flights where the drone driver cannot see the drone.  The third category – the certified category – covers flights where the risk is at the level of manned flight. The category includes drones with passengers.”

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